ABOUT QUINCY MARKET Quincy Market has always been used as a marketplace in Boston and it remains one today, though more like a tourist mall and less like a food market. When it was originally built, it sat on the harbor's edge in Boston. As the harbor was filled in with landfill, a community grew around the marketplace. ABOUT THE HISTORICAL PHOTOGRAPHS The guys in the front of the crowd of marchers in the old photo are the members of Brown's Brigade Band, doubtless a Civil War veterans group. The hundreds behind them are merchants. The year 1876 was not only the centenary of the Declaration of Independence. It was also the 50-year anniversary of Quincy Market, and these are the merchants who worked there. They're celebrating the occasion with a parade. Quincy Market is the long domed building on the right. The city built it in 1826 under Boston's greatest mayor, Josiah Quincy. At that time, the waters of Boston Harbor came up to the east end of the market, the end we see in the foreground of the photo. The ground floor was a wholesale food market selling meat, fish, produce, and dairy goods. Paralleling Quincy Market on both sides, the North and South Market buildings were built by private investors; retail stores were on the ground floor and offices or storage upstairs. Taken as a group, the three buildings were America's first shopping mall. In 1876, as the sign shows, the Quincy Market's upper floor was home to the Ames Plow Co., whose plows and shovels were helping to settle the West. Quincy Market is the masterpiece of architect Alexander Parris, who designed it in the style of Greek and Roman temples. The United States, in that era, thought of itself as the true heir of the classical republics of Greece and Rome, as opposed to the undemocratic monarchies of Europe. The market is built of granite, and its architecture reflects the prestige of the business community in early America. Quincy Market remained a wholesale market into the 1970s. Then, together with the North and South Market buildings, it was converted by architect Benjamin Thompson and developer James Rouse into a 'festival marketplace.' Streets were closed, planted with trees, and turned over to pedestrians, and the buildings were filled with new food courts, restaurants, and shops. Quincy Market reopened in August 1976, on the 150th anniversary of the original, and enjoyed an immediate and huge success. The official name now is Faneuil Hall Marketplace, confusing since it doesn't include Faneuil Hall, visible just to the left of the dome. Most people still refer to Quincy Market. We see it in the new photo on a chilly winter day with unusually sparse attendance. In sunshine, the market is mobbed." -Robert Campbell and Peter Vanderwarker, "CITYSCAPES - Quincy Market Then and Now," Boston Globe, 2002 "Most of us probably assume that Faneuil Hall Marketplace is a reasonably honest restoration of a great historic work of architecture. But as these before-and-after photographs prove, that`s not quite the truth. In both views, we`re looking along North Market Street at one of the three rows of buildings that make up this nationally famous ‘festival marketplace` (also known, confusingly, as Quincy Market). The markets were built in 1826 and functioned for a century and a half as Boston`s wholesale food center. In the 1970s, after the wholesalers moved out, the city ‘restored` the old buildings. But the architects didn`t merely restore. They also demolished and rebuilt. They were purists who wanted to strip away the accumulated changes of time. They wished to re-create the markets as they had looked, presumably, in 1826. That meant tearing down much of the complex and rebuilding it, using new granite cut from the original quarry. When the ‘restoration` was complete, the developer James Rouse and the architect Benjamin Thompson filled the markets with the lively mix of food stalls and boutiques that we`ve come to know. The mix was more pungent once than it is now. National chain stores, for example, were banned in the early years. The real fascination of these photos lies in the way they measure a change in taste. Nobody today would be likely to perform so violent an architectural restoration. Preservationists have become more sophisticated. They prefer to retain the evidence change over time, rather than obliterate it. A building can thus become a rich living history, not merely a memorial to the moment in which it was built. The Boston author Kevin Lynch put it best: ‘There is a pleasure in detecting the various layers of successive occupation of the city as they fade into the past – and then in finding a few fragments whose origins are remote and inscrutable whose meanings lurk beneath their shapes, like dim fish in dark water.` In the 1954 photo, the original buildings lurk beneath a coral reef of accumulated change. They possess, indeed, the mysterious fascination of dim fish in dark water." -Robert Campbell and Peter Vanderwarker, "CITYSCAPES - To Market," Boston Globe, 1995

Constructed, 1825
Renovation, 1976


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