Dock Square

Dock Square in downtown BostonMassachusetts is a public square adjacent to Faneuil Hall, bounded by Congress Street, North Street, and the steps of the 60 State Street office tower. Its name derives from its original (17th-century) location at the waterfront.

From the 1630s through the early 19th century, it served boats in the Boston Harbor as “the common landing place, at Bendell’s Cove,” later called Town Dock. “Around the dock was transacted the chief mercantile business of the town.” After the waterfront was filled in in the early 19th century, Dock Square continued as a center of commerce for some years.

The addition in the 1960s of Government Center changed the scale and character of the square from a hub of city life, to a place one merely passes through. As of the 1950s the square has become largely a tourist spot, with the Freedom Trail running through it.