Warning: include(/var/chroot/home/content/f/o/a/foa201/html/components/com_user/views/inc.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php on line 8

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/var/chroot/home/content/f/o/a/foa201/html/components/com_user/views/inc.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php') in /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php on line 8

Warning: include(/var/chroot/home/content/f/o/a/foa201/html/modules/mod_wrapper/plugin.php) [function.include]: failed to open stream: No such file or directory in /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php on line 11

Warning: include() [function.include]: Failed opening '/var/chroot/home/content/f/o/a/foa201/html/modules/mod_wrapper/plugin.php' for inclusion (include_path='.:/usr/local/php5/lib/php') in /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php on line 11

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cookie - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php:8) in /home/content/17/6601717/html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 423

Warning: session_start() [function.session-start]: Cannot send session cache limiter - headers already sent (output started at /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php:8) in /home/content/17/6601717/html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 423

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php:8) in /home/content/17/6601717/html/libraries/joomla/session/session.php on line 426

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/content/17/6601717/html/index.php:8) in /home/content/17/6601717/html/templates/ja_purity/ja_templatetools.php on line 44
Faneuil Hall - Quincy Market

Foundations of America

QU201 Prof. Scott Leone

  • Increase font size
  • Default font size
  • Decrease font size
Home Stony Creek Granite Sites Public Buildings Faneuil Hall - Quincy Market

Faneuil Hall - Quincy Market

Although Boston was founded in 1630 by the Puritans as one of the original colonies, the area of Faneuil Hall was founded in 1742, before Boston became an official city in 1822.  Quincy Market, the city’s first major project commenced in 1824, was built right in the heart of Faneuil Hall on the shipping wharf and just .46 Miles from Boston Commons.  Faneuil Hall was the perfect shipping location at the time.  On the outskirts of Quincy Market in Faneuil Hall itself, pink granite is evident in almost every building in the immediate vicinity.  In the heart of Quincy Market (shopping area) there is no Stony Creek or Milford granite.  It is mostly Quincy Granite because it was in abundance at the time, and very easy to transport.

Peter Faneuil was a wealthy merchant, slave trader, and philanthropist who donated the land for Faneuil Hall to Boston in 1742 just six months before his death.  At the time the construction of Faneuil hall was very controversial because people we not sure how having a central trading hub would affect farmers’ business.  Before the official opening of Faneuil hall the few markets that were built were destroyed by a disguised mob who was opposed to industrialization of the area.

The name Faneuil is French.  There is evidence that it was pronounced very differently during the time that it was built, as funnel.  Peter Faneuil’s actual gravestone is inscribed “P. Funel” although added long after his death.  The stone originally just displayed his family crest and not his surname.

The original builder of Faneuil hall was John Smibert from 1740-1742, 100 years before the first excavations of Stony Creek Granite and Milford granite.  In 1805 the building was remodelled by Charles Bulfinch using mostly Stately Granite.  All of Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market and its outskirts, were renovated in 1970 which is the most likely the time that the majority of pink granite was laid.

Stony Creek, Westerly Pink and Milford Pink granite are known for being durable, scratch resistant, and water repellent making them more durable than sandstone, which at the time, was less expensive and more readily available.  During the time that Faneuil Hall was being built Boston was still a major shipping hub.  With Faneuil Hall being right on Boston Harbor the original builder would have built most of the outskirts with pink granite because of its durability.  In 1876 Oliver Wendell Holmes and others gave speeches in Faneuil hall “in favor of public parks”, keeping public areas presentable as a place where people go to socialize and exercise.  At the time things like socializing were considered to be part of “being human”.  Milford Granite became popular from 1870-1940 so it is a safe notion that in making speeches about preserving parks and landscapes someone would have put forth using Stony Creek Granite as it is one of the most durable and eye pleasing granites around.  This decision would make sense for the area because of the fact that it is a major shipping hub and trading center so the foundation needed to be able to take its share of wear and tear.

Faneuil Hall, Quincy Market and its outskirts were renovated in 1970 by Benjamin Thompson Associates, which is the only viable time that a large part of the granite could have been implemented because there was no construction on the area before then.  It is possible that in the 1800’s and early 1900’s before things were as well documented as they are now that putting in slabs of stone in a staircase or in a walkway were not something of importance meaning that the stone could have been put in place anywhere from the stone’s initiation in the 1840’s to when Faneuil was renovated in 1970.

King’s Chapel Burial ground right outside of Faneuil hall is one of the oldest in the country with a few of the tombs dating back to 1776 and because of that it is hard to tell what the gravestones are laid from because of the wear and tear that has been done to them during the past 200+ years.  During the 1800’s and early 1900’s Boston was a very up and coming area.  The area directly around Faneuil was one of the most affluent areas of the time due solely to location being one of the most important aspects of privileged circumstances at the time.  Because of this many of the gravestones laid during this time period are made from pink granite because it was the most established.  Looking at pictures it is hard to tell if there is any pink granite in the cemetery.  Most of the tombs and gravestones in King’s Chapel burial ground are made from Quincy granite which was the most readily accessible at the time, but pink granite cannot be fully ruled out.  The many different types of stone in the burial ground help to tell who was affluent and who was poor, by the quality of the granite that their gravestone is made from.

Stony Creek / Milford pink granite was most popular right after the tail end of World War II.  During the period before World War II, because almost all of Boston became a place to work on things for the war in 1941, people could still bring in granite.  Stony Creek and Milford pink granite were among the most popular.  The halt in the Stony Creek Granite era was due to the beginning of the war and most efforts being shifted from the upbringing of Faneuil Hall to industrialization and innovation to help with the war effort. The great depression is another historical reason that Stony Creek Granite may not have been laid in Boston during its prime.  The Great Depression was the longest and most widespread depression in history.  During this time granite mining would have been seriously affected by the almost instantaneous drop in income and trade, meaning that people would not be able to afford items of luxury like this.  The pink granite companies also would have declined due to the depression making it hard to pay workers if they were not selling as much granite as they were previous to this.  The bell atop Faneuil hall was repaired in 2007 but previous to this the last known ringing of the bell was at the end of World War II in 1945.

The bank of America building at 100 Federal Street right on the outskirts of Faneuil, Abercrombie and Fitch 1 Faneuil Square inside the area of Faneuil Hall, and even the local Dunkin Donuts are in buildings made from pink granite.  The staircases leading down to and up from Faneuil Hall from the State Street orange line T stop are made of pink Milford Granite.

During the time that Faneuil hall was being built Quincy Granite was the largest quarry in the area making the granite readily available to the original builder John Smibert.  One of the reasons that the Faneuil Hall area had to be renovated (when the pink stone was moved in) would have been because although beautiful, Quincy Granite went through a decomposition process that caused parts of it to turn to clay.  When Faneuil Hall was in construction in 1742 the builders would have no way of knowing that Quincy granite went through this process and would have wanted the best granite at the time which was this Quincy granite.  When builders started to realize that the Quincy granite went through this process they would have wanted to save Faneuil Hall from the decomposition that this stone was going through and put in stronger and more durable pink granite.

In more recent years, Quincy Market has transitioned from being a meat and produce distribution center to being one of the most popular tourist areas in Boston.  Today the building consists of sit down restaurants, fast food stalls, and a large shopping center.  Flanking the sides of the Central building of Quincy Market are North Market and South Market that expand the area into even more restaurants, shops and offices.  Among the restaurants are Cheers, Dick’s last resort, and a variety of Mexican restaurants.  Some of the shopping cosists of Victorias Secret, Coach, Aldo, Aldo accessories, American Eagle, Urban Outfitters and Newbury comics.  In the two buildings on the side of the Center Quincy Market building there are also more diverse types of shops to accommodate tourists.  There is a fine arts gallery, a store that sells only Boston apparel, and store selling Historic information/gifts from the area.

Latitude: 42°21'36.72"N, Longitude: 71° 3'20.52"W


All pictures are Primary Source pictures - Samantha Eames








Last Updated on Friday, 18 November 2011 17:08  


Content View Hits : 1366933

Get Green Energy, Cut Costs

Green Clean Energy at Lower Cost
For your home or apartment
Green Energy, reduce costs

Click here, enter zip code
to check rates. Enroll Online.

Flesh and Stone

Flesh and Stone - Stony Creek and the Age of Granite - buy at Amazon.com
Available on Amazon

Uncirculated: Shrink wrapped in clear plastic from original Italian publisher, 1999. Ships with fresh samples of sparkling Stony Creek pink granite for historians, collectors, geologists and classrooms. Additional samples available upon request.