Faneuil Hall

Faneuil Hall

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Faneuil Hall

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Faneuil Hall ( or ; previously ), located near the waterfront and today's Government Center, in Boston, Massachusetts, has been a marketplace and a meeting hall since 1742. It was the site of several speeches by Samuel Adams, James Otis, and others encouraging independence from Great Britain, and is now part of Boston National Historical Park and a well-known stop on the Freedom Trail. It is sometimes referred to as "the Cradle of Liberty".


18th c.

The original Faneuil Hall was built by artist John Smibert in 1740–1742 in the style of an English country market, with an open ground floor and an assembly room above, and funded by a wealthy Boston merchant, Peter Faneuil. The ground floor was originally used to house African sheep brought over from the northwestern region of New Hampshire. The program was short lived however, due to a shortage of sheep and reasoning behind the program in the first place.

The grasshopper weather vane is a well known symbol of Boston; see the section "Grasshopper weather vane," below. Knowledge of the grasshopper was used as a shibboleth during the Revolution period. The people would ask suspected spies the identity of the object on the top of Faneuil Hall; if they answered correctly, then they were free; if not, they were convicted as British spies.

The hall burned down in 1761 but was rebuilt in 1762.

19th c.

In 1806, the hall was greatly expanded by Charles Bulfinch, doubling its height...
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