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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.
The Massachusetts Town House: seat of colony government 1713ā€“1776Today's brick Old State House was built in 1712ā€“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.
To visit Old State House and other attractions in Boston, use our Boston online travel planner .
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Old State House Reviews
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
1,221 reviews
Google
4.5
TripAdvisor
  • My son and I spent a couple of hours walking around the inside of the state house. It is SO beautiful inside. each room seemed to have a color and personality of it's own.  more »
  • This one is on the freedom trail and well worth a visit to see how it has been altered over the years. Including the underground system at one end of the house  more »
Google
  • This place is AMAZING! I came here to do research for a novel Iā€™m writing. Not only is the Old State House a wonderfully preserved historical building, but it also houses an incredible museum and tour. The tour was fantastic, packed with lots of great stories and details about early American History. I highly recommend it!
  • I went here late in the day and wish I had more time. Cheesy as it sounds, I found my excitement palpable as I went through the exhibits knowing I was so close (at least in proximity) to so many monumental events in this amazing country's history. I sometimes find that I build these types of places up so much in my mind that reality can't keep pace. Even though the architecture surrounding dwarfed it by size, the importance of this place echos through time.

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Plans to Old State House by other users

29 days in United States BY A USER FROM AUSTRALIA December, fast-paced, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Fast-paced 12 days in United States BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: June, kids, beaches, historic sites, museums, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 8 days in Salem & Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, romantic, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: July, romantic, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 36 days in Salem & Boston BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, teens, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 29 days in Boston & Salem BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: July, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium 11 days in Boston & Salem BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife, popular sights PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, wildlife ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular sights PACE: Medium
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