The Architecture of the Marketplace: The Effect on 17th - 19th Century Urbanism - Boston, Newport and Providence

Giscombe, Peter, Architectural History - School of Architecture, University of Virginia
Nelson, Louis, Department of Architectural History, University of Virginia

This thesis argues for traceable relationships between architectural constructed marketplaces and the urbanization of early modern Boston and Rhode Island. To address this argument I examine three market sites, paying attention to the expanding nature of their built environments over time. The architectural relevance of each market will be discussed. I will address the influence of the market players on the events of the times: Events that effected market activities. The thesis will focus on the Brick Market, Newport, the Market House, Providence, and the Faneuil Hall Market Place, Boston.

Boston, Massachusetts and Newport, Rhode Island were important trading ports in British North America up until the time of the American War of Independence. Providence’s rise came at the end of the war. In Boston the story of the coming of the markets, from the first Town Dock to the rise of the Faneuil/Quincy Hall Marketplace is one of religious based separatism in competition with urbanization and economic momentum. Along the Narragansett Bay, within years of receiving its charter as a colony, Newport was the center of shipping and commerce for the continent. Whether as the northern hub of the Trans-Atlantic slave trade, or whaling, Newport and later Providence were the epicenters of commerce in New England. In the Market Halls of eighteenth-century Boston, Newport and Providence, discussions on religious pluralism, and political separation went hand in hand with those on trade and markets. Establishing market house as a central site for wholesale and retail activities had economic merits. A dockside market house could also be a staging area for stocking out-bound vessels, also the central point for the distribution from incoming ships. The market houses, by the nature of the business and economical activities they responded to and/or generated, contributed to the urban development of their respective cities. Markets are distribution centers for products. They attract consumers of those products. This thesis will argue that the influence of the Faneuil Hall Marketplace, the Market House and the Brick Market on the growth of their respective municipalities cannot be ignored.

MARH (Master of Architectural History)
Peter Faneuil, Joseph Brown, Charles Bullfinch, Aaron Lopez, Providence, Mayor Josiah Quincy, Moses Brown, Joseph Rodriquez, John Brown, Alexander Parris, The Stamp Act, Josiah Quincy, The Brick Market, The Market House, Slater Mill, marketplace, slave trade, Stephen Hopkins, market, Warwick, trade, The Sugar Act, Brown Brothers, Nicolas Brown, Peter Harrison, Faneuil Hall Market, market hall, Market Square, Boston Massacre, constructed markets, Samuel Slater, The Intolerable Act, Samuel Gorton, markets, Faneuil Hall Marketplace, Newport, John Smibert, Faneuil Hall, Boston
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