About Boston's Quincy Market

Quincy Market is a historic building directly across from Faneuil Hall near the North End in Boston. It is the younger of the two buildings that make up the marketplace and is still almost 200 years old. Former Boston Mayor Josiah Quincy, for whom the marketplace is named, moved its construction forward. He managed to budget it without taxing the citizens or bringing the town into debt, which was considered a singular achievement. It is now part of Boston' Freedom Trail.

By the early 1800's, Boston needed another market or at least a bigger one. Instead of adding onto the existing structure of Faneuil Hall or building a marketplace elsewhere, it was decided to extend the market area by building a structure facing Faneuil Hall. Alexander Parris took over design of the building, which was finished in 1826. It was right on the water at the time it was built, but is far from its edge today.

The Quincy Market is two stories tall and is constructed of granite and red brick. Doric columns line two of its outside walls and there is a high dome in its center. Inside, vendors line the sides and there is room to walk down the center. There is also a large area that allows for seating, now that the Quincy Market is a food court style building. The shape is a rather long rectangle, so one would not expect its size when viewing it from the front. Upon entering, it becomes apparent that the building is much deeper than first suspected.

Quincy Market was a partially closed, partially open-air market since its inception. Vendors sold their food both inside and outside of the building. It quickly became a major draw for the city and authorities were forced to put in new roads just to accommodate the traffic. Today, it remains busy, but it is no longer a traditional marketplace. It is home to fast food and restaurants instead of meat, produce and dried goods. It is also now home to a comedy club and several shops that do not sell food primarily. Because it is a hotspot for tourists, it makes sense to have tourist shops in the market. The restaurants are popular places for a lunch break from work for locals.

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