Boston National Historical Park: A Glimpse Into The Iconic Landmark

Author: Megha Agarwal on Jan 04,2022

The Boston National Historical Park is a group of sites. It highlights Boston's role in the American Revolution. On October 1, 1974, it was termed a national park. 


Seven of the sites are interconnected by the Freedom Trail. It is a walking tour of downtown Boston. All eight sites are National Historic Landmarks.


Five of the sites are neither operated nor owned by the National Park Service. It operates through cooperative agreements. This was established upon the park's establishment.


The park service has visitor centers at the Charlestown Navy Yard and in Faneuil Hall.


Read on to find out some exciting details about the sites that make up the Boston National Historical Park.


Boston National Historical Park Sites


1. Bunker Hill Monument



The Bunker Hill Monument is erected at the Battle of Bunker Hill in Boston, Massachusetts. It was among the first significant battles between Patriot forces and the British in the American Revolutionary War.


The 221-foot granite obelisk was erected somewhere between 1825 and 1843 in Charlestown, Massachusetts.


The granite was conveyed to the location from nearby Quincy. The Granite Railway was built for this reason. A trip by barge followed this. There are nearly three hundred steps to the top.


An exhibit lodge was built near the base of the Bunker Hill Monument in the late 19th century. It has a statue of war hero Dr. Joseph Warren.


Bunker Hill forms one of the sites of the Freedom Trail. It is also a part of Boston National Historical Park.


The monument had a $3.7 million renovation in 2007. It included new lighting, handicap accessibility improvements, and repairs.


The Bunker Hill Museum was dedicated in June of that year. It is right across the street and includes many exhibits from the battle. There is no admission charge to enter the monument or museum.


2. Charlestown Navy Yard


The Charlestown Navy Yard is now called the Boston Naval Shipyard. It was one of the earliest shipbuilding facilities in the US Navy. In the National Park Service and among local people, it is still called the Charlestown Navy Yard. 


It was developed in 1801. This was as part of the establishment of the US Department of the Navy. It was decommissioned as a naval installation after 175 years of military service on 1 July 1974.


The National Park Service looks after the 30-acre property. It has become a part of the Boston National Historical Park.


The yard remains operational enough to support the USS Constitution of 1797. The ship was built for the revived American Navy as one of the original six heavy frigates. It is the oldest warship in commission in the US Navy.


USS Cassin Young is also berthed here. It is a 1943 Fletcher-class destroyer of the World War II era. 


The South Boston Naval Annex was situated along the waterfront in South Boston. From 1920 to 1974, it was an annex of the Navy Yard.


During World War II, other Navy Yard annexes were the Boston Naval Yard Fuel Depot Annex, East Boston Naval Annex, and the Chelsea Naval Annex.


3. Dorchester Heights



In March 1776, General George Washington fortified Dorchester Heights. It compelled the British to retreat from Boston. Thus, it ended the Siege of Boston. In 1902, a monument was built on the site.


Dorchester Heights is located in South Boston. It is the only site in the Boston National Historical park that is not on the Freedom Trail.


It is the neighborhood’s highest area. It commands a view of both downtown and the Boston Harbor.


4. Faneuil Hall


Faneuil Hall was constructed in the 1740s. It was the location of significant pro-independence speeches.


Faneuil Hall is operated and owned by the City of Boston. It is a part of the Boston National Historical Park. The park service offers talks in the Great Hall.


The hall is a meeting hall and marketplace. It is situated near the Government Center and the waterfront.


The site saw great speeches by James Otis, Samuel Adams, and others. The speeches encouraged independence from Great Britain.


5. Old North Church



The Old North Church was built in 1723. It is officially known as the Christ Church in the City of Boston. It is situated at 193 Salem Street, in the North End, Boston,


This was the site where Paul Revere had signal lanterns lit. It was the night of April 18, 1775.


This was before his midnight ride. The ride led to the Battles of Concord and Lexington. It started the revolutionary war.


The church is the oldest operating in Boston. It is a National Historic Landmark. An Episcopalian congregation owns and runs the church.


The church has a bust of George Washington. It was remarked to be the best likeness of the General by Marquis de Lafayette and Gilbert du Motier.


6. Old South Meeting House


The Old South Meeting House is a Congregational church building. It is situated at the corner of Washington and Milk Streets in the Downtown Crossing of Boston, Massachusetts. It was built in 1729.


On December 16, 1773, it became the center point for the Boston Tea Party. About five thousand colonists came together at the Meeting House. At the time, it was the largest building in Boston.


It was the site of several other pre-revolutionary meetings. Until 1877, it served as a church. Later, it became a museum. It is run by a non-profit organization that is dedicated to its preservation.


7. Old State House



The Old State House is Boston's oldest municipal building in Boston. It was built in 1713.


The house is located at the intersection of State and Washington Streets. It is a landmark on Boston's Freedom Trail.


The Old State House was the seat of the Colonial government. It served as the State government headquarters as well until 1798. In 1770, the Boston Massacre occurred in front of it.


The Bostonian Society saved it from destruction in 1881. It was created specifically to preserve it and still runs the building as a museum. The City owns it. The Boston Massacre is re-enacted under the society's auspices.


In 1960, The Old State House was made a National Historic Landmark. In 1984, the Boston Landmarks Commission termed it a Boston Landmark.


On January 1, 2020, the Old South Association merged with the Bostonian Society to create Revolutionary Spaces. 


8. Paul Revere House


The Paul Revere House is one of Boston's oldest surviving buildings. It was developed in 1680.  Paul Revere purchased it in 1770. Today, the Paul Revere Memorial Association owns and operates it as a museum.


The Paul Revere House was the home of American patriot Paul Revere during the American Revolution. It was termed a National Historic Landmark in 1961. It is situated in the City's North End at 19 North Square, Boston, Massachusetts. 


It now operates as a non-profit museum. An admission fee is charged. The house became a tenement after Revere sold it. Its ground floor was remodeled for use as shops. It included at various times a fruit and vegetable business, a cigar factory, a candy store, and a bank.


John P. Reynolds Jr., Revere's great-grandson, purchased the building in 1902. He wanted to prevent the demolition of the house. The restoration was done under the supervision of historic preservationist and architect Joseph Everett Chandler.


The Paul Revere House opened itself to the general public in April 1908. It was one of the earliest house museums in the US.


The Paul Revere Memorial Association inaugurated a 3,500 square foot education and visitor center in December 2016. An elevated walkway connected the house to the center. 


It was purchased in 2007. It showcases his industrial work and his work as a silversmith after the American Revolution.


The renovations allow wheelchair users to get to the second floor of the museum for the first time. A library and classrooms allow for educational outreach and expanded research.



Boston National Historical Park successfully preserves the many sites from the rich Revolutionary history of Boston.


These sites include Paul Revere House, Faneuil Hall, Bunker Hill Monument, Charlestown Navy Yard, and many more.


Tourists enjoy trips to these sites. Park rangers tell stories of the sacrifices made and struggle endured in pursuit of independence.



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