Paul Revere House & Pierce/Hichborn House
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Built in 1680—making it the oldest surviving structure in downtown Boston—the Paul Revere House was constructed on the site of the parsonage that was home to Puritan preacher Increase Mather and his family. The two-story, wooden post-and-beam structure may seem modest, but its high ceilings and large rooms (for the period) mark it out as a home for a family of means. Revere bought the house from its first owner, wealthy merchant Robert Howard, and lived here with his wife, children (he had 16 over 30 years, but only eight lived in the house at any one time) and mother from 1770 until 1800. The third storey was removed in the 19th century, when the house fell into disrepair (at various times, it served as a flophouse, candy store, cigar factory and bank). In 1902, it was nearly demolished, but the fortuitous intercession of Revere's great-grandson saved the place from the wrecking ball; six years later, the Paul Revere House opened to the public, one of the first "house museums" in America.
The ground floor is mainly furnished as it would have been when Howard occupied it, while upstairs is decorated in the style of Revere's time, with some original pieces of furniture that belonged to the family. There are also displays devoted to the silversmith's epic ride, along with examples of his work. Across the courtyard—where sits a 900lb iron bell cast by Paul Revere and Sons—is the Pierce/Hichborn House, one of the oldest brick buildings in Boston and a prime example of early Georgian architecture. It was built in 1711 for glazier Moses Pierce, and later purchased by Revere's cousin Nathaniel Hichborn, a shipbuilder. While the Paul Revere House is open to visitors, entry to the Pierce/Hichborn House is by guided tour only (usually twice daily, phone to check).
19 & 29 North Square
between Richmond & Prince Streets
|Price:||$3.50; $3 reductions|
|Opening hours:||9.30am–5.15pm daily (mid-Apr to Oct); 9.30am–4.15pm daily (Nov to mid-Apr)|