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Old State House, Boston

(800+ reviews on the web)
Government Building
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
  • Lovely old building ; lots of those. Place if history; reduces thar no. a bit. So much happened here to change the world. Lovely enthusiastic guide.  more »
  • This being such an important part of history and the way that it continues to be preserved for generations to come. It is a place that holds both historic value and wonderful architecture.  more »
  • Don't pass up the old state house! It is right on your Freedom Trail walk and has a few floors of displays and a small movie. There are people in costume explaining events to you as you browse around....  more »
Google
  • One of the best spots on the Freedom Trail. We went to the talk about the Boston Massacre and our guide was super knowledgeable and informative. The rest of the museum is great as well.
  • Wow amazing to know the building is still up! And used as a train station !! You can come here every July 4th at around 10AM and they will read you the Declaration of Independence like when they first got it and made everyone gather around to read it! It's a tradition!
  • It is cool to see the old building in between all the modern skyscrapers. On the other hand the cars circeling it destroy the athmosphere as does the big tourist shop in the ground floor. It is all about money and not so much about history it seems.
  • A fantastic piece of Colonial history still nestled inside the heart of Boston. Access to the Old State House is easily accomplished via the MBTA station that was constructed under the very building. This is a must stop location for out of town visitors and the local trying to reconnect to a very important part of history.
  • It was so authentic even the air smelled musty...but not in a bad overpowering way. Just adding to the nostalgia. Awesome souvenirs.