With no public funding in sight to re-open the Hull Street restrooms on the Freedom Trail, the Old North Church has opened its own toilet facilities to the public on a trial basis. The two bathrooms are located in the basement of the gift shop.
These are the only restrooms open to the public on the North End Freedom Trail between Faneuil Hall and Charlestown.
Old North’s restrooms will be open 9am – 6pm daily and they will be asking for a dollar per use with the hopes of breaking even after the costs of cleaning and maintaining the facilities, according to a congregation message from Vicar Steve Ayers.
It has been two years this September since we penned the story about poor Johnny and his mother, desperate to find a restroom on the North End’s most historic pathway.
Old North’s efforts are the most significant change since the State’s $50,000 earmark by former Speaker Sal DiMasi for the Hull St. restrooms disappeared in 2010 despite use by over 800 tourists on a summer day. A city plan to place a coin-operated facility on the Prado fell through. Most restaurants limit restroom use to paying customers. The Greenway Conservancy continues to oppose restrooms on the Greenway, preferring to build a $2.9 million replacement carousel, partially with State funding.
On the waterfront, the Harborwalk benefits from public restrooms at hotels, including a new one at the Marriott Long Wharf on the ground level accessible from the outside near Tia’s and Starbucks. Also, the Paul Revere House in North Square is expected to have restrooms for its visitors when its expanded education center opens.