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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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4.5
TripAdvisor
  • In the middle of a forest of skyscrapers lies this splendid structure which is the oldest well preserved city worth visiting
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  • The old state house is a Pearl of American architecture and a place full of stories and adventures of the time of the war of American independence. A must to visit.
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  • Take about an hour or so to stop in here and tour the artifacts of the Revolutionary War era. There are replicas as well as real artifacts, including tea from the Boston Tea Party. The women working i...  more »
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  • 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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51 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, kids, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in New England BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 60 days in Boston BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, teens, relaxing, popular PREFERENCES: January, teens, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, historic sites, museums, hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Hidden gems PACE: Medium 32 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in United States BY A USER FROM PERU December, popular PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES October, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: October, culture, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 6 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES August, popular PREFERENCES: August ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 22 days in United States BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS September, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, romantic, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 23 days in United States BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS September, culture, historic sites, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, culture, historic sites, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 11 days in Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium
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