Located in the oldest residential neighborhood in the city, the Paul Revere House is the oldest building in downtown Boston. Originally built in 1680, the house, during the American Revolution, was the colonial home of American patriot John Revere, and it is now one of the city’s most important historical landmarks.
Paul Revere was a silversmith and an avid colonialist and is famous for setting up a system of lanterns that warned all those around of a British invasion. It was on the night of April 18, 1775, that Revere really made a name for himself, when he rode to Lexington, in his famous Midnight Ride, to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock of the British that were approaching. It was after this warning that the Battle of Lexington, as well as the American Revolution, ensued. Once the war was over, Revere continued to build on his reputation as a master craftsman, going on to open the first copper rolling mill in the country.
A History of The House
The site of the Paul Revere House used to be home to the parsonage, which was destroyed in the Great Fire of 1676. The new townhouse that was built on the site was then renovated a few times over the years, after which it was purchased by Paul Revere in 1770. Revere and his growing family, which included his wife, his mother, and his five children, moved into the home, and only sold it in 1800. After this, the ground floor of the house was converted and used as shops, housing everything from a cigar shop to a bank, and it was not long before Revere’s great-grandson purchased the building to protect it from demolition or any further renovations.
Touring the Paul Revere House
Now managed as a house museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association, the Paul Revere House is open to the general public, and there are a number of formal guided tours available. Visitors are also able to take a self-guided tour of the house, giving them the opportunity to spend more time at each display. The house’s seventeenth-century appearance has been preserved, with around 90% of the structure being original. The two upstairs bedrooms contain the furnishings that once belonged to Revere and his family, while many features of the house, such as the lack of hallways, the large fireplaces, and the heavy beams, give you a fascinating insight into the way in which people lived in the colonial days. Visitors are also able to enjoy a close-up look at a 900-pound bell from the USS Constitution that was made by Paul Revere and Sons.
The Paul Revere House is open daily, and since it is not too large of a structure, it can be toured and explored in under an hour. Since it is the only house on Boston’s Freedom Trail, it is quite popular with tourists, and its easy access means that it is convenient to combine a visit to the Paul Revere House with a visit to the many other famous historical Boston attractions.