A gift of French Huguenot merchant Peter Faneuil, this building has long been the center of Boston's commercial life. Artist John Smibert designed the original building in the traditional form of an English market house with first-story arcades open on each elevation. The south wall, the adjacent three bays of each gable end, and the cupola are all that survive from the exterior of the original building (which burned and was rebuilt in 1762). With Boston outgrowing its status as a provincial port, Charles Bulfinch was hired to add a third story and extend the north wall by four bays. He moved the cupola from the center to the east end and extensively remodeled the interior as well. In 1898–1899 the famous hall that hosted many important speakers was reconstructed in fireproof materials, although replicating Bulfinch's design.
- Keith N. Morgan
Buildings of Massachusetts: Metropolitan Boston, Keith N. Morgan, with Richard M. Candee, Naomi Miller, Roger G. Reed, and contributors. Charlottesville: University of Virginia Press, 2009, pp. 47–48.
SAH Archipedia, eds. Gabrielle Esperdy and Karen Kingsley, Charlottesville: UVaP, 2012. Online. http://sah-archipedia.org/buildings/MA-01-GC4. Accessed 2013-12-09.