Institutions, Downtown, Landmark, October 2014

faneuil hall

before rush hour (sonya kovacic)

before rush hour (sonya kovacic)

Faneuil Hall was built in 1742 on top of a landfill that used to be the old Town Dock, Boston's port and center of commerce. Peter Faneuil, a prominent merchant, built the hall as a gift to the city and it became an important meeting place for colonists to gather and talk about their grievances against the British. In 1761, Faneuil Hall suffered its first fire, and all that remained were the brick walls. Thanks in part to a state authorized lottery signed by John Hancock, Faneuil hall was rebuilt and expanded in 1762. In 1826, Faneuil Hall was expanded once again to include Quincy Market and is now the 7th most visited attraction in the world.

On January 4, 1974, the gilded grasshopper weather vane that sits atop Faneuil Hall was stolen. It was recovered nine days later after a former steeplejack convicted of another crime told the police about its whereabouts. The grasshopper vane was found damaged in the cupola of Faneuil hall, with some parts found in a bus station storage locker in Park Square. The grasshopper was repaired and placed back atop Faneuil Hall, on July 27th.

Tomorrow morning in Faneuil Hall, half of the Bostonology team will be speaking about Bostonology at TEDxBoston. You can listen to our story here.