The Old State House

    Improve listing

Also known as Boston's "Towne House", the Old State House dates back to 1713. This Georgian style structure was occupied by the British during the Revolution and was a continuous reminder to the settlers of British dominance and presence in the colony. 

The Old State House was the center of all political life and debate in colonial Boston. On July 18, 1776, citizens gathered in the street to hear the Declaration of Independence read from the building's balcony, the first public reading in Massachusetts. The Royal Governor presided here until Thomas Gage left in 1775, and the seat of Massachusetts government resided here until the new State House was built on Beacon Hill in 1798.

The New Exhibit, A British Town: The Council Chamber in Boston before the American Revolution, is now open.  For the first time in 250 years, visitors to the Old State House can see this historic room as it appeared during the 1760s, when the fate of the British empire turned on the decisions made within its walls. Sit in the Royal Governor's chair.

The Bostonian Society was established in 1881 to preserve colonial America’s most historic public building— the Old State House— and to illuminate the stories these halls tell of how Boston gave rise to our country’s most powerful founding ideas. 


Open 7 days a week, 9 am to 5 pm (Memorial Day thru Labor Day open until 6 pm).

Closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

Closed to the public for yearly maintenance the first Monday thru Friday in February.