Statehouse Statement

Old State House
If a building could talk this one could speak volumes. This week's photo prompt at Sepia Saturday has what looks like some store fronts. Looking through my collection of postcards I couldn't find many obvious storefronts. But I did come across a postcard of the Old Statehouse in Boston and recalled a photo I had seen when this building was not a glamorous state house but simple building containing many businesses.

The Old Statehouse has a rich history. Built in 1713 it was the seat of the Royal government in Massachusetts Colony.  Sam Adams, John Hancock, and James Otis among others met there discussing the many issues which led up to the revolution. The Boston Massacre occurred at it's front steps and the Declaration of Independence was read from it's balcony.

When the state government marched up Beacon Hill to it's new house in 1798, the old place was turned over to the City of Boston to be used as City Hall. The city then moved over to a new city hall and she was turned over to be used as businesses. Henry Ford nearly bought the old Statehouse and moved it to Chicago where he was amassing a treasure trove of historic buildings.  When wise Bostonians got wind of this they formed a group to look after the old lady which continues to carry on this labour of love.

click any pic to enlarge
The Old Statehouse today is surrounded by high rises and is restored to it's former glory. It seems surreal to see the antique in the middle of modern architecture. From the modern photo you can't see, but there is a very busy subway lobby in the basement / street level. The lion and unicorn, symbols of the monarchy, were restored bringing back it's pre-revolution look, and the Declaration of Independence is still read from it's balcony every Fourth of July.
Weather it's buildings that talk or more store fronts for which you seek,
click the pic below for more great Sepia Saturday posts.


Wendy said…
The State House juxtaposed against all those tall modern buildings is one of my favorite views of Boston.
Bob Scotney said…
I'm very impressed by how well they restored the building; it has a majestic look about it,
It is lovely. It is striking how small and different it looks from the modern day buildings.

Thank you so much for the history lesson, much of which was new to me. Great post!

Kathy M.
ScotSue said…
Thank you for this. It brought back memories of a year I spent working in Cambridge, Mass. many years ago with frequent visits to Boston where I was fascinated by its early history.
Postcardy said…
Interesting history. I never knew that the statehouse was once used by businesses, or even that it has been restored and is still there.
Alan Burnett said…
A great old photograph - and the modern one helped to put it in context - and remind me that I had seen the building when I briefly visited Boston a couple of years ago.
Peter said…
It is good that the historic value of the building outweighs the interest that estate developers no doubt had in the land.
Brett Payne said…
What a shame the old original colonnaded frontage was removed - it made it look far grander. Still, it's enough that it has survived the developers, and your sequence of images demonstartes that it is still valued locally. Great to see, thanks.
21 Wits said…
I always enjoy seeing and reading about this lovely place!

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