Dwarfed by the towers of the Financial District, this historic building is typical of the modest and distinctive architectural type of New England in the 18th century. It was the seat of British colonial government between 1713 and 1776 and a reproduction royal lion and unicorn decorate every corner of the east fasade. After independence, the Massachusetts legislature took possession of the building, and it was used for a wide range of purposes, including as a produce market, a merchants’ exchange, a Masonic lodge, and a city corridor. Its wine cellars now operate as a downtown subway station, and it also houses Bostonian Society memorabilia.
Constructed in 1713 to replace the first Town House, which had not too long ago burned down, the Old State House is Boston’s oldest surviving public building. Throughout its period as the seat of the British colonial government it was also the Boston center for the political activity that led to the Revolutionary War (1775-81). From the first-floor gallery, Boston’s residents may-for the first time in the English-speaking worldwatch their elected legislators debate the problems of the day. The west end housed the county and colony law courts. The rich merchant and patriot John Hancock, an active opponent of the Stamp Act (1765), which imposed a tax on all paper goods, and the first signer of the Declaration of Independence, had warehouse space in the basement.
The Bostonian Society, which maintains the Old State House, also runs the museum inside the building and a library across the street. Everlasting and changing displays and reveals in the museum recount Boston’s historical past, from its settlement through to the Revolution, and beyond. Everlasting exhibitions include “From Colony to Commonwealth,” which seems to be at the role of Boston and the Old State Home within the occasions that led to the American Revolution, and “Treasures from the Bostonian Society’s Collections,” positioned in the Coundl Chamber, which features Revolutionary icons and militia equipment. There’s also a sound-and-light show on the Boston Massacre of 1770.
First settled by Puritans in 1630, Boston turned certainly one of North America’s main colonial cities. Its life and wealth revolved round its role as a busy seaport, however its streets were crooked, dirty, and crowded with folks and livestock. Other issues included waste disposal, firefighting, and caring for the quite a few poor. Not like the other major American cities outside of New England, Boston had a “town meeting” type of government. This was unusually democratic for the time and helps to clarify why Boston grew to become a center of colonial resistance prior to the Revolutionary War.