BOSTON — Some in Boston are calling to change the name of Faneuil Hall, as others across the country are targeting Confederate statues.
Faneuil Hall, built and gifted to the city by merchant and slave owner Peter Faneuil in the mid-1700s, is among the most popular tourist attractions in the United States.
Given that in recent months confederate monuments have been moved or torn down, local activist Kevin Peterson is adamant that one of the most treasured marketplaces in the city get a new name.
In his mind, Peter Faneuil built the hall using wealth he earned through the slave trade. Even after slavery was abolished, a local historian told Boston 25 News that Faneuil Hall became a place where textiles brought up from the south, which came from cotton picked by southern slaves was sold here.
"We don't want to tear down Faneuil, we want to reconceptualize it and look at it acknowledging in different ways its history in slavery, but acknowledging also that we can move forward to a better racial future," said Peterson, who founded the New Democracy Coalition.
Earlier today, President Donald Trump expressed regret that certain historical monuments were being removed in a series of tweets.
A local historian told Boston 25 News that the history of Faneuil Hall is complex.
"The irony here is that Faneuil Jall, its nickname of course, was and still is the "Cradle of Liberty" built on the foundation of slavery," said Tom Whalen, a professor at Boston University.
Whalen said that most of Faneuil's wealth can be attributed apart to slavery.
Durkin Park, which has been in Faneuil for a century, treasures the name and space. Its general manager said he feels removing the name would be a massive mistake.
"I think it would wipe away history," said Reyes.
Faneuil Hall Marketplace is privately owned by the Ashkenazy Acquisition Corporation, in New York City. They told Boston 25 News they were waiting for the city to release a statement regarding any name change. \
Cox Media Group