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Massachusetts State House, Boston

4.3
#8 of 29 in Historic Sites in Boston
Government Building Architectural Building
The Old State House is an historic building in Boston, Massachusetts, at the intersection of Washington and State Streets. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798, and is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. One of the landmarks on Boston's Freedom Trail, it is the oldest surviving public building in Boston, and now serves as a history museum operated by the Bostonian Society. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and a Boston Landmark by the Boston Landmarks Commission in 1994.HistoryThe Massachusetts Town House: seat of colony government 1713–1776Today's brick Old State House was built in 1712–13, possibly designed by Robert Twelves; the previous building, the wooden Town House of 1657, had burned in the fire of 1711. A notable feature was the pair of seven-foot tall wooden figures depicting a lion and unicorn, symbols of the British monarchy.The building housed a Merchant's Exchange on the first floor and warehouses in the basement. On the second floor, the east side contained the Council Chamber of the Royal Governor while the west end of the second floor contained chambers for the Courts of Suffolk County and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The central portion contained the chambers for the elected Massachusetts Assembly. This chamber is notable for including public galleries, the first known example of such a feature being included in a chamber for elected officials in the English-speaking world.
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Reviews
TripAdvisor Traveler Rating
531 reviews
Google
4.2
TripAdvisor
  • Starting point of the freedom trail. Not possible to get into it... Beautiful building close to the Park
    View original
  • Beautiful historic capital 'State House' building! Gleaming gold dome could be seen for miles, and was surprise stunning end to our walking tour and visit to the Boston Commons park. The State House i...  more »
  • I was only in Boston overnight on a Saturday, so the State House was closed. However I enjoyed a walk around the outside and the fantastic architecture of the building. It's located on historic Beacon...  more »
Google
  • My tween daughter and I enjoyed our visit here on Jul 3. Some tips: 1. Make sure you go all the way upstairs because as long as the legislature isn't in session you are welcome to go inside the chambers. 2. They have a lot of art and historical displays as you walk throughout the rooms, on several floors. We visited for about 20 minutes - I recommend the stop.
  • Place is nice to stop in and look around. I'd recommend going a tour if you have time.
  • This is the first step of the red line. Highly recommended to follow and stop at every monument or building like this one
  • Only saw it from the outside. Nice building. Old by US standards. Good start for the Freedom Trail.
  • Historic venue, carefully restored and maintained. Underneath rotunda is an art gallery, flag room, and stained glass windows. A must-see.

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Where to stay in Boston

To stay close to where most of Boston's tourist action is, book a room at one of the many hotels located downtown, near the center of the city and state governments, businesses, and shopping. For a more affordable option, consider a budget-friendly boutique hotel or small bed and breakfast in one of the city's diverse residential neighborhoods. If you plan to stay longer and need a real home away from home, explore Boston's short-term rental options, which include private villas, waterfront lofts, and luxury apartments scattered across the city's historical districts.
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