Preservation of the Old State House
Protect a Historic Treasure
The Old State House is owned by the City of Boston and operated on behalf of its citizens by Revolutionary Spaces. We are pleased to partner with the City of Boston and the National Park Service in the ongoing restoration and preservation of this more than 300-year-old historic site. The following timeline demonstrates just a few of the major efforts that have been made to protect and preserve the Old State House.
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Preservation efforts led at the Old State House have garnered a number of awards on the national and local level. In 2006, the American Association for State and Local History presented the Bostonian Society an award for its preservation project on the northeast corner. This project was also featured on an episode of the History Channel’s series Save Our History.
The restoration of the Old State House tower received Boston Preservation Alliance’s (BPA) 2008 Preservation Achievement Award.
Work was completed on the restoration and repair of the west façade of the Old State House, which faces Court Street. All mortar joints along the entire façade were repointed. Loose bricks were reset or replaced and windows were restored.
That same year, the Old State House balcony was in dire need of repairs and restoration. Dramatic seasonal differences between interior and exterior levels of temperature can create stressful conditions where the two environments meet. An analysis of the balcony conducted in 2011 concluded that the balcony remained structurally sound, but that its wooden and metal elements required major restoration and refurbishment, particularly where they join the building’s masonry. Funds were raised to execute the work from 2014 to 2015.
In the fall of 2014 the iconic lion and unicorn statues atop the east parapets of the Old State House were repaired. Carefully lowered into specially constructed crates, the statues were transported to Skylight Studios where they were cleaned, patched, and re-gilded with layers of gold and platinum leaf.
The restoration of the lion and unicorn statues received BPA’s Preservation Achievement Award.
2021 - 2022
The gilded scrolls and gilded eagle on the west facade were removed for restoration by Skylight Studios. The scrolls were installed in the spring of 2022. The eagle, which was gifted to the Old State House in 1881 by the City of Boston, is currently being restored and re-gilded with an approximate installation in 2024.