The Old State House


General Info

The Old State House is a centuries old building brimming with history and is situated in the heart of Boston. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Massachusetts General Court until 1798, and is one of the oldest public buildings in the United States. The building is the oldest surviving public building in the city and now serves as a history museum operated by The Bostonian Society.

Occupied by the British during the Revolution, this Georgian building has served as a reminder of the political history of this great city throughout the last few centuries. On July 18, 1776, citizens gathered to hear the first reading of the Declaration of Independence in the state. The landmark housed the Royal Governor until 1775, and also served as the seat of the Massachusetts government until the new State House was built in 1798.

A number of tours are available at the site including interactive tours, guided tours and self-guided tours enabling visitors to see the revolution through the eyes of those who lived it. Some of the artifacts on view at the museum include John Hancock’s coat, a rich cloak belonging to a wealthy city merchant who would serve as Massachusetts first governor and real tea, salvaged from the infamous Boston Tea Party.

Getting There

Take I-93 north to exit 23 Gov’t Center. Off the ramp, turn left onto John Fitzgerald Surface Road before making a right onto State Street. The Old State House is located at the intersection of Washington and State Street, and it will come into view as you travel along State Street. Parking can be found nearby at 75 State Street or 275 Washington Street.


Adult tickets cost $10, however senior citizens over 62 years old can avail of a reduced rate of $8.50, while youths aged between 6-18 go free.

Opening Hours

The Old State House opens everyday from 9am – 6pm from May 26 until September 1. Opening times outside of this period are 9am – 5pm with early closing hours of 3 pm on Christmas Eve. The Old State House is closed New Year’s Day, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and the first work week in February.

Image used under CC License.