IN A WHIMSICAL VEIN

by Jnana Hodson

Atop Fanueil Hall.

Atop Fanueil Hall.

The cricket design of the weather vane atop Faneuil Hall always delights me. Or, as I long wondered from the ground, could it be a grasshopper?

Whichever, the craftsman and the client both demonstrate a lasting sense of delight in the realms of nature. Turns out to be a cricket after all, crafted in 1742 by Deacon Shem Drowne, perhaps inspired by similar weather vanes on London’s Royal Exchange building. The cricket, by the way, is the only part of the historic building to remain unchanged from the 1742 original. A 1761 fire gutted merchant Peter Faneuil’s original structure, and in 1805 architect Charles Bulfinch designed additions that doubled the width and length of the building while keeping the basic style to produce what we see today.

Boston is a rich and varied destination – the Hub of New England, or the Universe, as they used to say. Living a little more than an hour to the north, we’re well within its orb.

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