History

Faneuil Hall Marketplace: The Hub of the Hub from Ted Reed on Vimeo.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace is actually four great places in one location - Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market, North Market and South Market, all set around a cobblestone promenade where jugglers, magicians and musicians entertain the passers-by. So by all means, stroll, shop, eat, laugh, wander, wonder and explore it all.

  • In 1742 Peter Faneuil, Boston's wealthiest merchant, built Faneuil Hall as a gift to the city.
  • The edifice was home to merchants, fishermen, and meat and produce sellers, and provided a platform for the country's most famous orators. It is where colonists first protested the Sugar Act in 1764 and established the doctrine of "no taxation without representation."
  • Firebrand Samuel Adams rallied the citizens of Boston to the cause of independence from Great Britain in the hallowed Hall, and George Washington toasted the nation there on its first birthday.
  • Through the years, Faneuil Hall has played host to many impassioned speakers, from Oliver Wendall Holmes and Susan B. Anthony to Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy, always living up to its nickname, "The Cradle of Liberty."

To better accommodate the merchants and shoppers, Faneuil Hall was expanded in 1826 to include Quincy Market, which was designed in the then-popular Greek Revival style and later dubbed for Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy.

  • The market remained a vital business hub throughout the 1800's; but by the mid-1900's, the buildings had fallen into disrepair and many stood empty.
  • The once-thriving marketplace was tagged for demolition until a committed group of Bostonians sought to preserve it in the early 1970's.
  • Through the vision of Jim Rouse, architect Benjamin Thompson and Mayor Kevin White, the dilapidated structures were revitalized, thoroughly changing the face of downtown Boston.
  • The 1976 renovation was the first urban renewal project of its kind, one that spawned imitations in this country and abroad.

Today, what is known as Faneuil Hall Marketplace is still Boston's central meeting place, offering visitors and residents alike an unparalleled urban marketplace. The unique and burgeoning array of shops, restaurants and outdoor entertainment have made it a premiere urban destination that attracts more than 18 million visitors annually.

Faneuil Hall Marketplace, rich in history, is one of the best things to see in Boston.

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