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Old State House, Boston

4.4
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 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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Old State House Reviews
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1,038 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • This is a great building in the style of the previous centuries and somewhat dwarfed by the tall buildings you find in this area. The area is packed with tourists and I would expect to be worse in the...  more »
  • Great place to start the history of Boston. Some great displays and interactive events for the kids.  more »
  • While the bottom level is self guided, the second floor is more enjoyable with a guide. The only negative remark I have is the film is not CC.  more »
Google
  • I've been here on many occasions and it really impresses me every time. What is truly outstanding are the on-site staff. They answered each and every question with kindness and a vast understanding of the building and its importance. The exhibits are also incredibly interesting, as you experience them in chronological order. Lots of interactivity for kids, but plenty of things for adults as well!
  • I love history and while visiting Boston I had to visit the Old State House. It’s a beautiful building in the middle of a bustling city. Major turning points in the American history happened in this building. If your in the area definitely make an effort to visit.
  • This was the ninth and one of the most significant sites we visited along Boston's Freedom Trail. Be sure to visit the museum inside the building to learn about significant events in the city's history that took place here, such as the announcement of US independence from Britain from the building's balcony. The museum also describes past and present preservation initiatives, including the effort to spare the building from demolition. The museum is small and can be visited in an hour or less. Fun fact: There is a subway station directly underneath the building, accessible via stairs adjacent to the museum entrance. The building had to be reinforced while the subway tunnel was being excavated.
  • Excellent, but often overlooked, stop on Boston's Freedom Trail. Beautiful museum and professional staff. Kid-friendly exhibits. In the summer, costumed historical reenactors serve as guides.
  • Not worth the entrance fees, you get two rooms with a few reading boards and none of the building has been renovated back to what it once was. Save the $$$ and view from National Park pictures and reading materials.
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26 days in United States & Toronto BY A USER FROM ISRAEL August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 9 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 10 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, culture, relaxing, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 15 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Boston & Portland BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States & Sutton BY A USER FROM CANADA July, kids, outdoors, beaches, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, kids, outdoors, beaches, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 54 days in Massachusetts BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, relaxing, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, culture, relaxing, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, teens, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 55 days in United States BY A USER FROM SAUDI ARABIA July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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