Old State House
208 Washington Street
Boston, Suffolk County, Massachusetts
The Old State House is a historic building in Boston, Massachusetts. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798. It 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.
The previous building, the wooden Town House of 1657, had burned in the fire of 1711. Today's brick Old State House was built in 1712–13. The interior was rebuilt in 1748, after a fire in 1747 (the brick walls of the 1712–13 building survived the fire).
On March 5, 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in front of the building on Devonshire Street. Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson stood on the building's balcony to speak to the people, ordering the crowd to return to their homes.
On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed from the east side balcony to jubilant crowds by Col. Thomas Crafts (one of the Sons of Liberty).
After the American Revolution, the building served as the seat of the Massachusetts state government before its move to the present Massachusetts State House in 1798. From 1830 to 1841, the building was Boston's city hall. During this period of time, City Hall shared the building with the Boston Post Office and several private businesses.
After Boston's city hall left, the whole building was rented out for commercial use. In 1881, in response to plans for the possible demolition of the building due to real estate potential, The Bostonian Society was formed to preserve and steward the Old State House.
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