North Square Public Art Project | A+J Art+Design

1798 NORTH SQUARE VIEW

Pre-Industrial Boston and Today – Continuity and Transformation

Sited across the street from the Paul Revere House, the sculptural relief will be a panoramic view from North Square in the year 1798. The view will dramatize the integration of wharves, and streets, masts and steeples. It will also highlight Boston’s topography two centuries ago when the city was on the eve of rapid development brought on by industrialization and the land expansion efforts that leveled once prominent hills.

A market scene occupies the foreground of the scene where vendors sell fish, produce and goods from carts and people go about their business in neighborhood streets. Further away, figures tend majestic sailing vessels along bustling wharves, while merchant ships and smaller fishing boats ply the harbor. At the bottom of the relief is an index to identify features, some still extant although not all visible, from the Square, including Faneuil Hall, the New State House, Paul Revere House, and New Brick Church.

The viewer simultaneously takes in this prospect of early Boston and the contemporary view in North Square with the Paul Revere House, and possibly Faneuil Hall, keying one view to the other. The relief invites viewers to observe the continuities and changes over the past 220 years.

On the reverse side of the relief will be text, visible from across North Street, which will read “North Square” at the top in large lettering. Below will be a description of Boston that alludes to the image on the front and describes aspects of the view in contrast to today’s landscape.