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(Wikipedia) The Old State House is a historic government building located at the intersection of Washington and State Streets in Boston, Massachusetts, USA. Built in 1713, it is the oldest surviving public building in Boston, and the seat of the first elected legislature in the New World. It is now a history museum operated by the Bostonian Society, a nonprofit whose primary focus is the museum. It is one of many historic landmarks that can be visited along the Freedom Trail.

Today’s brick Old State House was built in 1712–13, possibly designed by Robert Twelves; the previous building, the wooden Town House of 1657, had burned in the fire of 1711.3 One notable feature of the building was the pair of seven-foot tall wooden figures depicting a lion and a unicorn; The Lion and the Unicorn are symbols of the British monarchy.

The building housed a Merchant’s Exchange on the first floor and warehouses in the basement. On the second floor, the east side contained the Council Chamber of the Royal Governor while the west end of the second floor contained chambers for the Courts of Suffolk County and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. The central portion contained the chambers for the elected Massachusetts Assembly. This chamber is notable for including public galleries, the first known example of such a feature being included in a chamber for elected officials in the English-speaking world.

In 1761, James Otis argued against the Writs of Assistance in the Royal Council Chamber. Though he lost the case, Otis influenced public opinion in a way that contributed to the American Revolution; John Adams later wrote of that speech, “Then and there… the child independence was born.”

On March 5, 1770, The Boston Massacre occurred in front of the building on King Street. Lieutenant Governor Thomas Hutchinson stood on the building’s balcony to speak to the people, ordering the crowd to return to their homes.

On July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was proclaimed from the east side balcony to jubilant crowds by Col. Thomas Crafts (one of the Sons of Liberty). At one o’clock Col. Crafts rose in the Council Chamber and read it to the members. Then, fellow patriot Sheriff William Greenleaf attempted to read it from the balcony, but he could only muster a whisper. Col. Crafts then stood next to the sheriff and read it from the balcony in a stentorian tone. For most people, it was a festive occasion, as about two-thirds of Boston residents supported the revolution. The lion and the unicorn on top of the building were removed and burned in a bonfire in King street.

After the American Revolution, the building served as the seat of the Massachusetts state government before its move to the present Massachusetts State House in 1798.

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boston, massachusetts, state house, revolution, independence, david davies, usa

I’ve been an amateur photographer for as long as I can remember, which at my age is about a couple of weeks! I’ve owned film cameras from Zeiss, Scheider, Leica, Nikon and Olympus, as well as digital cameras from Pentax and Canon, and still have several, if I can ever find them. I currently use a Sony NEX-5N with an 18-55mm zoom lens, and after a year of ownership am still learning all the functions.

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Comments

  • David Davies
    David Daviesover 3 years ago

  • cherylc1
    cherylc1over 3 years ago

    Magnificant architecture and fasinating history~ awesome capture!!!

  • Thank you so much, Cheryl. I thought the juxtaposition of old and new and big and small was just too fascinating to miss!

    – David Davies

  • Lee d'Entremont
    Lee d'Entremontover 3 years ago

    Great Shot David!

  • Thanks, Lee. This was our flying visit into Boston, my first in the 20-odd years I’ve been coming down to Lynn for Christmas. I thought the juxtaposition of old and new and big and small was just too fascinating to miss! A very happy and healthy 2011 to you both. With any luck, maybe we’ll all be able to get together sometime in the new year.

    – David Davies

  • TREVOR34
    TREVOR34over 3 years ago

    My goodness that lovely building has quite a history but boy does it look lost amongst those towers old and new. I’m quite amazed to see the difference between the old ‘tall’ buildings and the super slick new high rise ones. Thanks so much for that….

  • Isn’t it incredible! I thought the juxtaposition of old and new and big and small was just too fascinating to miss! I’m not sure if I wished you a Happy New Year already, but if I didn’t I wish it to you and yours now.

    – David Davies

  • DonDavisUK
    DonDavisUKover 3 years ago

    Fantastic David. A great Historical side-note too.
    All the best for 2011.
    Regards,
    Don.

  • Thanks, Don, I do like to use Wikipedia when I can and Boston is such an incredible city – the ending and the beginning of it all, you might say. Lord North must be turning over in his grave! A happy and healthy new year to you and yours. You don’t have too many hours to wait now.

    – David Davies

  • JDL15
    JDL15over 3 years ago

    This little brick building will outlast all the buildings around it.
    Gr8 capture

  • You’re probably right, John! It’s certainly better looking!

    – David Davies

  • Catherine Hamilton-Veal  ©
    Catherine Hami...over 3 years ago

    nice work dear David and like the narrative.x

  • Thank you Catherine and thanks too to Wikipedia! lol

    – David Davies

  • TREVOR34
    TREVOR34over 3 years ago

    Yea…… er, you did! ’ave a good ’un yrself ……..

  • Roy  Massicks
    Roy Massicksover 3 years ago
    At least they have preserved the church David – great capture.
  • Let’s be thankful for small mercies!

    – David Davies

  • Tom Gomez
    Tom Gomezover 3 years ago

    Super capture David, good to see that it has survived …

  • Thanks, Tom, it certainly is good, something of a miracle, in fact. It would be such a tragedy to lose it and all the other ‘old’ buildings!

    – David Davies

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