Place

Old State House

The red brick Old State House with a clock, balcony, and lion and unicorn figures.
Old State House on a busy day in Downtown Boston.

NPS Photo

Quick Facts

Built in 1713, this historic landmark served as the seat of colonial and state governments as well as a merchants’ exchange. In 1761 patriot James Otis opposed British Writs of Assistance here, inspiring John Adams to state, “then and there the child independence was born.” Nine years later, the building bore witness to the Boston Massacre, and on July 18, 1776, Bostonians heard the Declaration of Independence for the first time, read from the balcony of the building. After 1798 and the completion of the current Massachusetts State House, the Old State House housed commercial space and offices, at one point housed City Hall, and today a museum to Boston's history.

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Revolutionary Spaces - History of the Old State House

Old State House - Boston National Historical Park

Boston National Historical Park

Last updated: April 7, 2021