The Landscape Architect’s Guide to


Financial District / Government Center

Faneuil Hall Marketplace

Your Guide
Susannah Ross, ASLA

One of the country’s most popular tourist destinations, historic Faneuil Hall was established as a meeting hall and marketplace in 1742. Over the years it experienced a devastating fire, followed by a number of reconstruction projects. Though it was named a National Historic Landmark in 1960, it had become run-down and in need of attention.

Architect Benjamin Thompson, who had a wider interest in promoting quality of life in cities via architecture, proposed in 1967 that the historic marketplace be revitalized for modern use as a festival marketplace. He worked with developer James W. Rouse and landscape architect Pressley Associates to create what would become a transformative public space for Boston. Its success from the time of its opening in 1976 spawned similar projects across the country.

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