It’s the hub of the Hub, but some say it has become too much of a tourist trap.
Faneuil Hall now has a plan to revive the historic marketplace. The plan is to make it a daily destination for locals while still attracting tourists from around the world.
Eighteen million people walked through Faneuil Hall last year, and while that is good for business, many of them are tourists. A mix of people we spoke with ranged from Chicago, Austin, Upstate New York, and France. They all loved the historic landmark.
The challenge is to attract local residents to experience what the world comes to see.
“We’re going to give it a face lift” said Joe O’Malley, Faneuil Hall’s general manager and a Dorchester native.
He is bringing in new restaurant and bar options to keep downtown workers in the city after work hours. Leases of popular retail stores are being renewed while keeping the variety of local merchants.
Faneuil Hall is embracing the community. The marketplace will feature over 200 free summer events, including puppet shows and chess tournaments, and add attractions like Ping-Pong tables and areas to relax.
There are also plans to make it easier to get around the area while maintaining the historic feel that makes Faneuil Hall a Boston landmark.
"The cobblestones are not going away. There's some uneven spaces. We're going to make sure it's level and make sure it's accessible for those who have accessibility issues and for parents with strollers," O'Malley said.
He said it will take time to make the area a destination that both locals and tourists will enjoy.
"It took about 15 years to get to this stigma so it's going to take a little bit to get it away," he said.