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national park service faneuil hall visitor center redesign


Located on the ground floor of the iconic Faneuil Hall, the National Park Service’s visitor center is often a first stop for exploring Boston. Whether they be travelers, school groups, or locals wanting to know more about the city, the NPS visitor center (with its friendly rangers) is intended to help people discover the historic sites along the Freedom Trail and Black Heritage Trail. But the center had a poorly lit, institutional feel with outdated displays, no way of showing timely information, and an out-of-scale, unwelcoming reception station. How could the space be redesigned to be more useful and also to reflect the historic character of the building?


Following the design of a temporary visitor center, Visual Dialogue was primed to update the Faneuil Hall location by reinterpreting the main information displays and providing design recommendations for graphics, colors, and furnishings. The main wall features a large, hand-drawn map of the area, photos and descriptions of notable sites organized by location, and changing information about special events and hours of operation. All this information is arranged in an array of gilded frames, creating a visual connection to the Great Hall on the second floor (the location of many historic events over the past 275 years). On the right side wall, information about the history of Faneuil Hall is displayed, while the opposite wall provides more details of other National Park of Boston sites in photo, text, and video form. In addition, Visual Dialogue used their retail expertise creating 1630 to help NPS and their partner Eastern National re-invent the adjacent gift store. Stop by and see how revolutionary smart design can be.