Faneuil Hall
1742 & 1762 John Smibert / 1805 Charles Bulfinch

Photo: East face of Faneuil Hall Peter Faneuil (1700-1743) had gained his wealth the old fashioned way, he inherited it from his uncle Andrew. In the early 18th century Boston lacked a central marketplace. Pushcart vendors circulated through the town, offering limited assortments of food on their own schedules and terms. To benefit the town Faneuil offered to build and donate to the city its first market. Food vendors vigorously opposed the gift, which the town meeting accepted voting 367 to 360.

Besides being a source of wealth and trade, the Atlantic Ocean was the Boston's dump of choice for its various wastes, excess materials from building, and debris from fires which often razed large tracts of the city. Periodically this mess would be filled over, and built upon as new land. Such was the case with Faneuil hall was built at the water's edge in 1742.

After just nineteen years the hall burnt, but was speedily rebuilt through a public lottery. In 1762 Faneuil Hall housed the first shouts of colonial rebellion. Samuel Adams, James Otis, and Dr. Joseph Warren stirred opposition, which was followed throughout the colonies, and galvanized resistance to colonial rule.

By 1805 Smibert's Faneuil Hall was no longer large enough to serve the city. The renowned Charles Bulfinch, who by then had already completed the new State House, was chosen to expand the hall.

Photo of Faneuil Hall's East FaceIn a brilliant design, Bulfinch doubled the building's height and width, and so kept intact walls from the earlier building. Instead of being three bays across, it became seven. A third floor was added, and the building's cupola which had been centered, was moved to the east end, as seen to the left.

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