The Freedom Trail Foundation, founded in 1964, is the official non-profit umbrella organization responsible for assisting in the promotion and preservation of Boston’s 16 Freedom Trail sites. The Foundation’s mission is to ensure these irreplaceable touchstones to our past remain as vibrant reminders of the vision, courage, and hope upon which America was built. We partner with the 16 Freedom Trail sites to:
enhance the understanding and appreciation of Boston’s seminal role in American history; create experiences to draw visitors to Boston; and preserve the inspiring touchstones that link us to our heritage.
The Freedom Trail Foundation’s Preservation Fund was established to help support preservation, rehabilitation, restoration and capital projects for official Freedom Trail sites. These projects help avoid, minimize or mitigate adverse effects of the elements and man-made wear and tear on these precious 18th century sites and enhance the visitor experience of those sites. Grants may be made as direct payments for projects, matching funds for grants initiated by Freedom Trail sites, or interest free-loans for capital projects.
Completed Freedom Trail Foundation Preservation Projects:
FREEDOM TRAIL FOUNDATION COMPLETES SECOND PRESERVATION FUND PROJECT, JUNE 2013
The Freedom Trail Foundation's second Preservation Fund for capital projects at Freedom Trail sites is complete!
In preparation for Old North Church's 300th anniversary in 2023, the Freedom Trail Foundation awarded a $75,000 Preservation Fund grant for the restoration and painting of its iconic steeple. Standing at 191 feet tall and last restored 12 years ago, the Old North Church steeple, was in great need of scraping and repainting. The $128,000 steeple restoration, begun in spring 2013, was completed by early summer 2013.
Built in 1723, and immortalized in Longfellow's poem Paul Revere's Ride, Old North Church is an active Episcopal parish and Boston's most visited historic site. On the evening of April 18, 1775, the Old North sexton, Robert Newman, climbed the steeple and held high two lanterns as a signal from Paul Revere that the British were marching to Lexington and Concord to seize the Colonial store of ammunition. This fateful event ignited the American Revolution.
A second Freedom Trail Foundation Preservation Fund grant of $35,000 was also awarded to Old North Church in February 2013 to complete the Captain Jack's Colonial Chocolate Shop. Located in the historic Clough House, Captain Jack's shop is a new "living history" addition to the Old North campus serving and selling Mars Chocolate North America's American Heritage Chocolate® much as colonial Bostonians drank. While it never achieved status as the preferred drink of Bostonians, chocolate did, however, linked South America, Spain, Britain and the colonies in an important financial global trade. Old North's cafe brings that history to life daily from 11:00 am to 5:30 pm.
FREEDOM TRAIL FOUNDATION COMPLETES FIRST PRESERVATION FUND PROJECT, NOVEMBER 2011
The Freedom Trail Foundation and Boston Parks & Recreation Department completed $300,000 in historic landscape renovations to Boston’s Granary Burying Ground. One of 16 Freedom Trail sites, the Granary Burying Ground is the resting place for an estimated 6,000 revolutionary-era patriots including three signers of the Declaration of Independence, victims of the Boston Massacre, Paul Revere, and John Hancock.
Thanks to $125,000 in grants from the Freedom Trail Foundation’s Preservation Fund new grass, new wider pathways, more light, and new fencing make the Granary easier to navigate, brighter, and better preserved for the Granary’s annual 1.3 million visitors.
The project completed in November 2011 took over 10 months to finalize. Under the supervision of Boston Parks & Recreation Department’s Historic Burying Grounds Initiative and funded in part by Mayor Menino’s Capital Improvement Program, the project marks the first Freedom Trail Foundation Preservation Fund project.