When looking for a quick bite to eat or some unique Boston souvenirs, it’s hard to find a better place to go than Faneuil Hall Marketplace. Faneuil Hall Marketplace is really several separate facilities in the same location, which together form Boston’s central gathering place. The original building in the complex, Faneuil Hall, was built in 1742 as a gift to the citizens of Boston by wealthy colonial businessman Peter Faneuil. The building was originally designed to serve as a public market and meeting place, and its large central meeting hall was used by Samuel Adams as early as the 1760s as a place to rally the colonists against "taxation without representation," earning the building the moniker "the cradle of liberty." In later years, as Boston grew, so did the Faneuil Hall market. The building was expanded several times in the 19th century. Finally, when the market outgrew Faneuil Hall, the "new" market was created directly behind the original building. This new Greek-revival building and its two adjacent warehouses gained the name Quincy Market in honor of Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy, who had the vision of expanding the original market into new buildings. Faneuil Hall and Quincy Market remained in use for many decades, but by the 1970s, had fallen into disrepair. The entire facility was saved in the mid-1970s by a highly successful redevelopment that included a restoration of the historic Faneuil Hall building and renovations to the Quincy Market colonnade (central building) and conversation of the two warehouses into spaces for retail shops and restaurants.
Today, the facility remains highly popular, serving over 40 million guests annually. The central Quincy Market Colonnade building houses a popular comedy club, several full-service restaurants, and over 40 local quick-service food vendors. This is an excellent place to get a great, affordable lunch, with plenty of variety to choose from. During the lunch hour, many vendors have tables set up in front of their stalls offering samples. With so many options, it’s often hard to choose, but rest assured, it’s hard to find a bad meal here. The beautifully restored central rotunda of this building is filled with tables where guests can stop to eat their meals. Most of these are long, high tables without chairs designed for eaters to stand at; expect it to be busy and to share your table with others. There are also some smaller tables with chairs on the upper level.
In addition to the Colonnade building, the North and South Market buildings house a variety of upscale retailers and full-service restaurants. Retailers range from national chains to local stores selling clothing, souvenirs, art, local crafts, and other items. There are also a few shops in the original Faneuil Hall building, which operates as a historic site with ranger-led interpretative talks and tours of the building’s meeting hall.
For a full listing of the restaurants and retailers operating at Faneuil Hall Marketplace, see the market website at www.faneuilhallmarketplace.com.
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District of Columbia County, District of Columbia
March 1, 2005
From journal Winter Weekend in Boston
by Emily Marie
Bronx, New York
August 20, 2003
Many will say that Boston is a walking town to begin with. That's true, but with that said, there's still a lot crammed into the area around Fanueil Hall. The marketplace is situated in three old warehouse buildings (think of small versions of the warehouse at Camden Yards) and offers various shops from mall staples such as Discovery Channel, Banana Republic and Sam Goody's to small art galleries. The center building is almost solely a food court, offering things from seafood to bagels to pizza to chinese to pastries. The outer walkways (new glass extentions to the historic old stone warehouse) of the center building is lined with carts selling toys and chatzkahs.
The market area also has a number of sit-down eateries and bars for nightlife. The Rack is an upscale billiards hall and bar, The Comedy Connection, Froggies and Pizzeria Uno's all add to the night life. The best of these places though is Durgin Park, a restaurant that's been there pretty much forever and has the reputation to boot.
Between the buildings there are often many street entertainers around. Magicians, musicians, and Ben Franklin (why he's here and not in Philly, I can't tell you) are those that can be found most often.
Just a short walk under and past I-93 is the New England Aquarium. Of the aquariums I've been to around the world, this is my favorite. The large layout with a penguin pool at the bottom and a large circular reef/shark tank in the middle offers a lot to see. The aquarium (as the other boatlines that line the Long Wharf) offers seasonal whale watching trips. Sightseeing cruises around the harbor and to some of the islands are fun and are available from the wharf opposite the aquarium.
From journal Baseball, Boston
July 15, 2001
From journal Beautiful Boston