National Park Service, Boston, MA
The Freedom Trail comes alive with two historic renovations
Goody Clancy renovated two of Boston’s—and the nation’s—most historic structures, integrating modern systems and ensuring their viability as living, working buildings into the next century. The Old State House—site of the Boston Massacre and of the first proclamation of the Declaration of Independence in Massachusetts—and Faneuil Hall are two jewels along the National Park Service’s Freedom Trail that links historic sites from the American Revolution.
The Old State House
Originally designed in 1713 but rebuilt in 1749, the Old State House is Boston’s oldest public building, having served as the seat of government for Massachusetts and, since 1882, as a museum devoted to the history of Boston. Following our work, it appears as it has for most of this century, with improved function.
- The design goals were to make the building more accessible, preserve the historic fabric, conserve artifacts, and install new building systems for climate control and fire suppression.
- To reflect the reality of a building that represents layers of time, the interior was not restored to any one period. Instead, Goody Clancy returned major rooms to their most important and best documented periods, themselves interpretations of colonialarchitecture.
After a broad, participatory programming process, we developed designs to provide Faneuil Hall with handicapped access, to restore or replace building systems, and to bring the building into compliance with current codes—all within the context of preserving the fabric of this building originally designed in 1742. The result was a celebration of distinguished spaces which had been obscured by years of inappropriate interventions and neglect.
- Our work required installation of new systems, repair and replacement of plaster, and restoration of historic wood windows and lighting. We designed a new grade-level entrance and elevator serving all levels, without altering the exterior or intruding on any major spaces of the building.
- Updates included a new sound system in the Great Hall and improved arrangements for television events, enabling visitors to better understand speakers.