Alexandra Lange
Architecture & design critic

Rebooting the Festival Marketplace

Once upon a time in the 1970s, the festival marketplace was a treat. Its co-inventor, architect Benjamin Thompson, wrote: “The natural pageantry of crowds and goods, of meat, fish and crops from the fields, of things made and things grown, all to be tasted, smelled, seen and touched, are the prime source of sensations, experience and amusement in the daily lives of whole populations — were and still are, in most nations except our own.” Faneuil Hall, which opened in Boston in 1976, was his riposte to dying urban downtowns and everywhere-the-same malls. It was supposed to be more than commerce. It was an everyday fair.