Faneuil Hall (/ˈfænjəl/ or /ˈfænəl/; previously /ˈfʌnəl/), located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1743. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain. Now it is part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty".
In 2008, Faneuil Hall was rated number 4 in America's 25 Most Visited Tourist Sites by Forbes Traveler.
Faneuil Hall today, east side
|Architect||John Smibert; Charles Bulfinch|
|NRHP reference #||66000368|
|Added to NRHP||October 15, 1966|
|Designated NHL||October 9, 1960|
After the project of erecting a public market house in Boston had been discussed for some years, slave merchant Peter Faneuil offered, at a public meeting in 1740, to build a suitable edifice at his own cost as a gift to the town. There was a strong opposition to market houses, and although a vote of thanks was passed unanimously, his offer was accepted by a majority of only seven. Funded in part by profits from slave trading, the building was begun in Dock Square in September of the same year. It was built by artist John Smibert in 1740–1742 in the style of an English country market, with an open ground floor serving as the market house, and an assembly room above. According to Sean Hennessey, a National Park Service spokesman, some of Boston's early slave auctions took place near Faneuil Hall.
In 1761, the hall was destroyed by fire, with nothing but the brick walls remaining. It was rebuilt by the town in 1762. In 1775, during the British occupation of Boston, it was used for a theatre.
In 1806, the hall was greatly expanded by Charles Bulfinch, doubling its height and width and adding a third floor. Four new bays were added, to make seven in all; the open arcades were enclosed, and the cupola was moved to the opposite end of the building. Bulfinch applied Doric brick pilasters to the lower two floors, with Ionic pilasters on the third floor. This renovation added galleries around the assembly hall and increased its height. Neighboring Quincy Market was constructed in 1824–1826. Faneuil Hall was entirely rebuilt of noncombustible materials in 1898–1899.
On October 9, 1960, the building was designated a National Historic Landmark and added to the National Register of Historic Places a number of years later. The ground floor and basement were altered in 1979. The Hall was restored again in 1992, and in 1994 the building was designated a local Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission.
The headquarters of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts is located on the fourth floor and includes an armory, library, offices, quartermaster department, commissary, and military museum with free admission.
Faneuil Hall is one of four historic buildings in a festival marketplace, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which includes three historic granite buildings called North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market adjacent to the east of Faneuil Hall, and which operates as an indoor/outdoor mall and food eatery. It was designed by Benjamin Thompson and Associates and managed by Ashkenazy Acquisition Corp.; its success in the late 1970s led to the emergence of similar marketplaces in other U.S. cities.
According to Ashkenazy, Faneuil Hall Marketplace had 18 million visitors in 2016.
On Friday in early August 1890, one of the first black Republican legislators of Boston, Julius Caesar Chappelle, made a speech "At the Cradle of Liberty" in support of the Federal Elections bill that would help give blacks the right to vote. Chappelle was a Boston legislator from 1883–1886. The Faneuil Hall event was covered by the media in the United States, and the speech by Chappelle appeared in an August 9, 1890, article, "At the Cradle of Liberty, Enthusiastic Endorsement of the Elections Bill, Faneuil Hall again Filled with Liberty Loving Bostonians to Urge a Free Ballot and Fare Count..." on the front page of The New York Age newspaper on Saturday, August 9, 1890.
On November 7, 1979, Faneuil Hall was the site of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy's speech declaring his candidacy for president. On November 3, 2004, Faneuil Hall was the site of Senator John Kerry's concession speech in the 2004 presidential election.
The Headquarters of the Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts has been in Faneuil Hall since 1746, currently on the 4th floor.
It is also still used for political debates between Massachusetts candidates as well as political shows, such as The O'Reilly Factor.
Faneuil is a French name, and is anglicized as /ˈfænəl/ or /ˈfænjəl/. In Colonial times, it may have been pronounced as in funnel. Peter Faneuil's gravestone is marked "P. Funel." However, the inscription was added long after his burial; the stone originally displayed only the Faneuil family crest, not his surname. In his 1825 novel Lionel Lincoln, James Fenimore Cooper used eye dialect for Bostonian characters to indicate that they pronounced it Funnel Hall.
Boston area locals often use the term Faneuil to refer to the entire surrounding neighborhood, particularly as a landmark for its vibrant nightlife.
In August 2017, amid heightened media coverage of the removal of Confederate monuments and memorials, the activist group New Democracy Coalition proposed that Faneuil Hall's name be changed because of Peter Faneuil's participation in the slave trade. In response to the proposal, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh stated: "We are not going the change the name of Faneuil Hall".
The bell was repaired in 2007 by spraying the frozen clapper with WD-40 over the course of a week and attaching a rope. Prior to this repair, the last known ringing of the bell with its clapper was at the end of World War II, in 1945, though it had since been rung several times by striking with a mallet.
The gilded grasshopper weather vane on top of the building was created by Deacon Shem Drowne in 1742. Gilded with a gold leaf, the copper weather vane weighs 80 pounds (36 kg) and is 4 feet (1.2 m) long. The weather vane is believed to be modeled after the grasshopper weather vane on the London Royal Exchange, based upon the family crest of Thomas Gresham.
The area between the eastern end of Faneuil Hall and Congress Street is part of Boston National Historical Park. In this landscape is a 19th-century sculpture of Samuel Adams created by sculptor Anne Whitney. The granite plaza surface is marked for 850 feet (260 m) with the approximate location of the early Colonial shoreline c. 1630. The street layout and building plot plan designations from an 1820 map are shown by etched dashed lines and changes from pink granite to grey granite paving slabs. The shoreline marking artwork entitled, A Once and Future Shoreline, is made with etched silhouettes of seaweed, sea grass, fish, shells and other materials found along a high tide line.
Art within Faneuil Hall includes many paintings and sculpture busts of Revolutionary War activists, pre Civil War abolitionists, and political leaders.
Site of the Boston Massacre
| Locations along Boston's Freedom Trail
Paul Revere House
The Ancient and Honorable Artillery Company of Massachusetts is the oldest chartered military organization in North America and the third oldest chartered military organization in the world. Its charter was granted in March 1638 by the Great and General Court of Massachusetts Bay and signed by Governor John Winthrop as a volunteer militia company to train officers enrolled in the local militia companies across Massachusetts. With the professionalization of the US Military preceding World War I including the creation of the National Guard of the United States and the federalization of officer training, the Company's mission changed to a supportive role in preserving the historic and patriotic traditions of Boston, Massachusetts, and the Nation. Today the Company serves as Honor Guard to the Governor of Massachusetts who is also its Commander in Chief. The headquarters is located on the 4th floor of Faneuil Hall and consists of an armory, library, offices, quartermaster department, commissary, and military museum with free admission.BostInno
BostInno is a local online news site and community publishing platform covering “the view from inside” innovation in Boston. It was founded in 2008 as a community startup blog by Chase Garbarino, CEO and co-founder of Streetwise Media, and Kevin McCarthy, CTO and co-founder. On December 7, 2009, BostInno was relaunched as a news platform profiling local innovation across verticals including tech, venture capital, city news, food, higher education, and sports.
BostInno is operated by Streetwise Media, the online media company founded by Chase Garbarino, Kevin McCarthy, and Greg Gomer which seeks to reinvent the model of local news online.BostInno headquarters are in Faneuil Hall in Boston.Boston Classical Orchestra
The Boston Classical Orchestra is a chamber orchestra based in Boston, Massachusetts. It was founded in 1980 by the violinist Robert Brink. The orchestra's music director is Steven Lipsitt. It performs at Faneuil Hall.
The orchestra has performed music by Tison Street.Boston Landmark
A Boston Landmark is a designation by the Boston Landmarks Commission for historic buildings and sites based on the grounds that it has historical, social, cultural, architectural or aesthetic significance to New England or the United States. While National Landmark or National Register status can provide tax incentives for the owner of an income-producing property, local landmark status provides more control over modifications to a designated historic structure or place.Boston National Historical Park
The Boston National Historical Park is an association of sites that showcase Boston's role in the American Revolution. It was designated a national park on October 1, 1974. Seven of the eight sites are connected by the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of downtown Boston. All eight properties are National Historic Landmarks.
Five of the sites that make up the park are neither owned nor operated by the National Park Service, and operate through cooperative agreements established upon the park's creation. The park service operates visitor centers in Faneuil Hall and at the Charlestown Navy Yard.Charles Bulfinch
Charles Bulfinch (August 8, 1763 – April 15, 1844) was an early American architect, and has been regarded by many as the first native-born American to practice architecture as a profession.Dock Square (Boston)
Dock Square in downtown Boston, Massachusetts is a public square adjacent to Faneuil Hall, bounded by Congress Street, North Street, and the steps of the 60 State Street office tower. Its name derives from its original (17th-century) location at the waterfront. From the 1630s through the early 19th century, it served boats in the Boston Harbor as "the common landing place, at Bendell's Cove," later called Town Dock. "Around the dock was transacted the chief mercantile business of the town." After the waterfront was filled in in the early 19th century, Dock Square continued as a center of commerce for some years. The addition in the 1960s of Government Center changed the scale and character of the square from a hub of city life, to a place one merely passes through. As of the 1950s the square has become largely a tourist spot, with the Freedom Trail running through it.Downtown Boston
Downtown Boston is the central business district of Boston, Massachusetts, United States. The city of Boston was founded in 1630. The largest of the city's commercial districts, Downtown is the location of many corporate or regional headquarters; city, county, state and federal government facilities; and many of Boston's tourist attractions. Similar to other central business districts in the U.S., Downtown has recently undergone a transformation that included the construction of new condos and lofts, renovation of historic buildings, and arrival of new residents and businesses. It is represented in the Boston City Council by District 2's Bill Linehan.
Downtown is bound by the Back Bay, North End, Beacon Hill, and the South End areas. It includes Government Center and the Financial District.The area that is now Downtown Boston constituted much of the town/city proper prior to the city's dramatic expansion in the 1860s and 1870s. The Great Boston Fire of 1872 destroyed much of the neighborhood, especially between Summer, Washington, and Milk Streets. In the 1950s the Central Artery highway began operating, until the Big Dig (1982-2007) relocated it underground. In the 1960s and 1970s the enormous new Government Center complex replaced Scollay Square.
Landmarks in Downtown Boston include the Greenway, Custom House Tower, City Hall, Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, Old South Meeting House, Massachusetts State House, Park Street Church, Boston Common, and Boston Public Garden.Educational institutions located downtown include Emerson College and Suffolk University.
The four MBTA subway lines converge in the downtown area at the Downtown Crossing, Park Street, Government Center, and State stations. South Station is a transportation hub with subway, commuter rail, intercity bus, and Amtrak service.Dubuque City Hall
Dubuque City Hall is located in Dubuque, Iowa, United States. The building was designed by J.N. Moody after Faneuil Hall in Boston and the Fulton Street Market in New York City. Dubuque architect John F. Rague served as the supervising architect during construction. Following a Medieval tradition, the city market was located on the first floor, municipal offices were located on the second floor, and a ballroom for civic events was located on the third floor.The three-story brick structure rests on a raised limestone basement. It features a gable roof with bracketed eaves. Each gable has a circular window. The 11-foot (3.4 m) tall windows are located in bays defined by arches. The building was first occupied in February 1858. Initially, the main floor was divided into stalls. They were converted into additional office space for the city when the market relocated. The third floor ballroom was converted into an archery and pistol range for the police department, a bowling alley, and a horseshoe pitching area. The original cupola, which held a bell and four-faced clock, became deteriorated and was removed from the building in 1954. The bell was placed in the plaza next to city hall. The building was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. A new cupola was created using the original design, and it was erected in 1990. The bell was returned to the tower at that time.Durgin-Park
Durgin-Park was a centuries-old restaurant at 340 Faneuil Hall Marketplace in downtown Boston. The Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau stated that it had been a "landmark since 1827", and it was a popular tourist destination within Quincy Market. The restaurant had entrances on both of its facades (Faneuil Hall and Clinton Street).
On January 3, 2019, the owners announced that their last day of service would be January 12, 2019; the restaurant closed permanently on that date.Edward J. Logue
Edward J. "Ed" Logue (February 7, 1921 – January 27, 2000) was an urban planner, public administrator, lawyer, politician, and academic who worked in New Haven, Boston, and New York State.
Commentators often compare Logue with Robert Moses - both were advocates of large-scale urban renewal in the United States from the 1950s through the 1970s. Logue is best known for overseeing major public works projects, such as Faneuil Hall-Quincy Market and Government Center in Boston, and the re-development of Roosevelt Island in New York City.Freedom Trail
The Freedom Trail is a 2.5-mile-long (4.0 km) path through downtown Boston, Massachusetts, that passes by 16 locations significant to the history of the United States. Marked largely with brick, it winds between Boston Common to the Bunker Hill Monument in Charlestown. Stops along the trail include simple explanatory ground markers, graveyards, notable churches and buildings, and a historic naval frigate. While most of the sites are free or suggest donations, the Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, and the Paul Revere House charge admission. The Freedom Trail is overseen by the City of Boston's Freedom Trail Commission and is supported in part by grants from various nonprofits and foundations, private philanthropy, and Boston National Historical Park.
The Freedom Trail was conceived by local journalist William Schofield, who in 1951 suggested building a pedestrian trail to link important local landmarks. Boston mayor John Hynes decided to put Schofield's idea into action. By 1953, 40,000 people were walking the trail annually.The National Park Service operates a visitor's center on the first floor of Faneuil Hall, where they offer tours, provide free maps of the Freedom Trail and other historic sites, and sell books about Boston and United States history.
Some observers have noted the tendency of the Freedom Trail's narrative frame to omit certain historical locations, such as the sites of the Boston Tea Party and the Liberty Tree.Members of the Boy Scouts of America who hike or camp along the Freedom Trail may be eligible for the Historic Trails Award.One Federal Street
One Federal Street is a skyscraper in the Financial District neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts. Completed in 1975, it is Boston's 12th-tallest building, standing 520 feet (159 m) tall, and housing 38 floors. It is very close to the Rose F. Kennedy Greenway, Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Construction of the building was completed in 1976. However, it underwent renovations between 1992 and 2011. Some of the most notable tenants include: AON Service Corporation, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP, Credit Suisse, J.P. Morgan, Iron Mountain, Oppenheimer, and U.S. Bank.Peter Faneuil
Peter Faneuil (June 20, 1700 – March 3, 1743) was a wealthy American colonial merchant, slave trader, and philanthropist who donated Faneuil Hall to Boston.Quincy Market
Quincy Market is a historic market complex near Faneuil Hall in downtown Boston, Massachusetts. It was constructed in 1824–26 and named in honor of Mayor Josiah Quincy, who organized its construction without any tax or debt. The market is a designated National Historic Landmark and Boston Landmark, significant as one of the largest market complexes built in the United States in the first half of the 19th century.Samuel Adams (Whitney)
Anne Whitney created two public statues of Samuel Adams. One, made in 1876, resides in the National Statuary Hall Collection in the US Capitol, Washington, D.C.. The other, made in 1880, is located in front of Faneuil Hall Plaza in Boston.Shem Drowne
Deacon Shem Drowne (December 4, 1683 – January 13, 1774) was a colonial coppersmith and tinplate worker in Boston, Massachusetts and was America's first documented weathervane maker. He is most famous for the grasshopper weathervane atop of Faneuil Hall, well known as a symbol of Boston.Union Street (Boston)
Union Street is a street in Boston, Massachusetts, near Faneuil Hall and the North End. Prior to 1828, it was also called Green Dragon Lane.Ursuline Convent riots
The Ursuline Convent riots occurred August 11 and 12, 1834, in Charlestown, Massachusetts, near Boston, in what is now Somerville, Massachusetts. During the riot, a convent of Roman Catholic Ursuline nuns was burned down by a Protestant mob. The event was triggered by reported abuse of a member of the order, and was fueled by the rebirth of extreme anti-Catholic sentiment in antebellum New England.