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Old State House, Boston

(4.3/5 based on 750+ reviews on the web)
The Old State House is a 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.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
  • The building is lovely and the history around the place is great. There are a few old exhibits in glass cases and things on the wall to read. If you are interested in the start of the revolution then ...  more »
  • The building lies between tall buildings and not really lose your magnificence. Very cute! a historic site, where American independence was declared.
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  • We visited the Old State House on March 1st and found it be interesting but were a little overwhelmed by the presenter on our tour. While she was very energetic and knowledgeable, her delivery was ext...  more »
Google
  • A wonderful piece of history nestled in the heart of Boston. Nice selection of exhibits covering the early history of the town. Good place to spend an hour or two. Kid friendly for the 4 - 10 yr old.
  • Fun and historic spot to stop in. Definitely experienced the vibe of "what it was like when (insert specific historic event, as there were several)"
  • One of the oldest public buildings in the United States and the oldest public building in Boston. The Declaration Of Independence was read from the balcony of this building and still is every 4th of July. It's a true historic landmark and well worth the visit.
  • HIstory: If you are coming to Boston to learn of the early history of this country then this is where you need to go first. This is a privately held museum that is not equivalent to the Smithsonian, but does a beautiful job of teaching the past and sharing the history, not only for a general view, but also through a personalized card that gives you information on a particular person from that time frame, and asks you to put yourself in their shoes throughout the trip through history.
  • Beautiful building of history right in the heart of downtown. Convenient stop on the freedom trail so definitely check it out!