History of Revolutionary Spaces

Delve into our past

History - Hanging Light

A Letter from the President & CEO

Dear Visitors,

Welcome! In January 2020, the Bostonian Society and Old South Association merged to become Revolutionary Spaces. This merger enhances our ability to sustain Old South Meeting House and the Old State House as dynamic resources at the center of Boston’s cultural and civic life, while telling the interwoven stories of these two iconic sites.

The 250th anniversary of the American Revolution brings a renewed focus to our nation’s founding principles. The unique relationship between the Old State House and Old South Meeting House creates a rich and dynamic story that speaks to the heart of urgent questions about self-government, free speech, and the role of civic engagement in a free society. There are no two sites that can better tell that story, and no better time to tell it than right now.

This is only the beginning of a new chapter in how Americans connect to our history. There is still much hard work ahead. History can be a powerful tool for today, enabling people to participate more deeply in civic life and to recognize their own personal stake in the ongoing American experiment in self-government. In the coming year, programs and exhibitions at Revolutionary Spaces will challenge our understanding of our shared past and help us to explore together the future we want to build.

Nat Sheidley
President & CEO

Nat Sheidley,
President & CEO of
Revolutionary Spaces

History of Revolutionary Spaces

Constructed in 1713, the Old State House was the center of royal government in Massachusetts Bay Colony and the focal point for many of the Revolution’s most dramatic events. In 1879 a group of determined citizens formed the Boston Antiquarian Club to preserve and steward the Old State House. Two years later, the Boston Antiquarian Club reorganized as the Bostonian Society and created a museum of Boston’s history inside the Old State House.

Built in 1729, the Old South Meeting House was one of the largest buildings in colonial Boston, making it an ideal location for some of the most important mass meetings prior to the American Revolution. In 1877 the Old South Meeting House was saved from demolition by the Old South Association and opened to the public as a museum and meeting place.


In 2020, the Bostonian Society and the Old South Association merged to form Revolutionary Spaces.