Old State House / Boston Massacre Site

Boston, MA
United States
Old State House / Boston Massacre Site

Located in downtown Boston, the Old State House was built as the Second Town House in 1713, having possibly been designed by architect Robert Twelves. Constructed to house government offices, it stands on the site of Boston’s first Town House which was destroyed by fire in 1711. The Old State House was the center of civic, political, and business life in Colonial America. It is also the site of the Boston Massacre (1770), which occurred just outside the building.

The Town House became the State House in 1780. In 1832 the building was once again damaged by fire. The Bostonian Society was formed to preserve the Old State House in 1881. That year architect George Clough began a year-long restoration of the building. The State Street Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) station has occupied a portion of the basement since 1904. Architect Joseph Chandler was hired to restore the building in 1907.

Currently, the Old State House contains a Revolutionary War museum. A cobblestone and brass marker with a star-shaped center stone memorializes the Boston Massacre outside the building. Still managed by The Bostonian Society, the building is one of eight sites within the Boston National Historical Park and one of seventeen stops along the Freedom Trail. The Old State House was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.