Faneuil Hall is part of the area of Boston known as Quincy Market. Since it’s origins in 1742 Faneuil hall has served as a market place and meeting hall.
The gilded grasshopper weather vane on top of the building was created by Deacon Shem Drowne in 1742. Gilded with a gold leaf, the copper weather vane weighs eighty pounds and is four feet long. The weather vane is believed to be modeled after the grasshopper weather vane on the London Royal Exchange.
The Grasshopper is a well known symbol of Boston. During the Revolution suspected spies were asked to identify the object at the top of Faneuil Hall. If they couldn’t identify the Grasshopper they were detained as spies.
The bell was repaired in 2007 by spraying the frozen clapper with WD 40 over the course of a week and attaching a rope. Prior to this repair, the last known ringing of the bell with its clapper was at the end of World War II, in 1945, though it had since been rung several times by striking with a mallet
On Oct 9, 1960 Faneuil Hall was designated a National Historic Landmark.
On November 6, 1979, Faneuil Hall was the site of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy’s speech declaring his candidacy for president.
Faneuil Hall is now part of a larger festival marketplace, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, which includes three long granite buildings called North Market, Quincy Market, and South Market, and which now operates as an indoor/outdoor mall and food eatery. Its success in the late 1970s led to the emergence of similar marketplaces in other U.S. cities.
If you visit Boston, this area is a top tourist attraction. Fanueil Hall is a stop on Boston’s Freedom Trail and the market place is always busy with street entertainers, push carts, and lots of food vendors. A personal favorite of mine is the “Boston Chip Yard” where old fashion home made chocolate chip cookies come warm from the ovens! Yummmm!
Sometimes Betsy Ross or Ben Franklin even make an appearance!
Some say it’s become an expensive tourist trap but it’s still not to be missed and even I, after living here more than 30 years, still enjoy a trek there now and then. 🙂