For Immediate Release
May 25, 2012
For More Information Contact:
Mayor's Press Office
Mayor Thomas M. Menino today joined US Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar to open the newly renovated Faneuil Hall visitor center, in time for the Memorial Day Weekend. The new center, marrying history with cutting edge technology, officially opened to the public during a ribbon cutting ceremony today.
The new enhanced facility, which was a collaboration between the City of Boston and the Department of the Interior’s National Park Service, includes interactive exhibits, an audio visual orientation program, handicapped-accessible public restrooms, a bookstore and several local vendors selling goods ranging from coffee to art work. The space is comprised of 7400 square feet for visitor services with related office and community meeting space.
“Whether you’re a tourist, a young student on a field trip, or a day tripper from outside the city, this exciting new visitor center will enrich what is already one of the nation’s great historic and recreation destinations,” said Mayor Thomas M. Menino. “It is my hope that this visitor’s center – and the historic sites it leads to – will provoke people to do more than recall our freedom – I hope it moves people to reinvigorate it.”
Faneuil Hall is where gatherings during both the American Revolution and the Abolitionist Movement took place. The new Visitor Center provides an opportunity for tourists to learn about their options in one place.
In an effort to make exploring the city easier, The National Park Service developed a first-of-its-kind app that visitors can download at the visitor center. The app includes information about Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site, as well as other parks in the region, and features custom maps, and turn-by-turn directions to dozens of historic sites. Users will find fun facts, frequently asked questions, restaurant, transportation, shopping, and hotel information. The app will also be available on iTunes and Android.
“Through this visitor center and its first-in-the-nation technology, The National Park Service will deliver Boston’s rich, textured and inspirational story to people from all over the world,” said Cassius Cash, Superintendent of Boston National Historical Park and Boston African American National Historic Site. “We’re marrying technology and history to transport visitors to the Boston that played a starring role in our struggle for independence and the creation of democracy.”
Boston National Historical Park is a unique collaboration of government owned and privately owned and operated historic sites associated with the colonial struggle for independence and the birth and growth of the United States. These nationally significant attractions include Old South Meeting House, the Old State House, Faneuil Hall, the Old North Church, the Paul Revere House, the Bunker Hill Monument, the Battle of Bunker Hill Museum, Dorchester Heights, and the Charlestown Navy Yard, including USS Constitution, the USS Constitution Museum, and USS Cassin Young.
Boston African American National Historic Site is comprised of the largest area of pre-Civil War black owned structures in the U.S. It has roughly two dozen sites on the north slope of Beacon Hill. These historic buildings were homes, businesses, schools, and churches of a thriving black community that, in the face of great opposition, fought the forces of slavery and inequality.
Park rangers will be guiding tours of Boston’s Trails to Freedom year round.
The visitor center will be open daily from 9:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. Closed Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year’s Day.