The Paul Revere House
WELCOME to the Paul Revere House
Paul Revere House (1680) is the colonial home of American patriot Paul
Revere during the time of the American Revolution.
It is located at 19 North Square, Boston,
Massachusetts, in the city's North End, and is now operated as a
nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association; an admission
fee is charged.
The original three-story house was built circa
1680. It occupied the former site of the Second Church of Boston's
parsonage, home to Increase Mather and Cotton Mather, which was
destroyed in the Great Fire of 1676.
Its first owner was Robert Howard, a wealthy
merchant. His L-shaped townhouse contained spacious rooms and would
have been enhanced by exterior features such as a second-floor
overhang and casement windows.
As is typical of early Massachusetts Bay timber
construction, the main block of the three-story dwelling consisted of
four structural bays demarcated by heavy framing posts and overhead
The larger ground-floor room in this main block
was dominated by its chimney bay and adjoining lobby entrance.
Although some contemporary Boston houses had separate kitchen
buildings, the two-story extension behind the Revere House was
As the Revere House was set quite close to
neighbors, its double casement windows were installed in the rear
elevation rather than the more common placement in a gable.
Around the middle of the eighteenth century, the
Paul Revere House went through two major renovations. First, the
roofline facing the street was raised substantially to bring the house
in line with the Georgian architectural style that had become
prevalent at that time (the roofline was returned to its original
pitch, albeit without a gable, by the restorers in 1907-1908, which
gave rise to a commonly-held misconception that the attic had been
Second, a two-story lean-to was added in the ell
between the two 17th-century portions of the house (this lean-to was
removed by the restoration in 1907-1908).
Paul Revere owned this house from 1770-1800,
although he and his family may have lived elsewhere for periods in the
1780s and 1790s. It is believed that during the Revere occupancy the
rear chimney was added (c. 1790) including the kitchen that visitors
see in the first room they enter.
After Revere sold the house, it became a
tenement with its ground floor remodeled for use as shops, including
at various times a candy store, cigar factory, bank and vegetable and
fruit business. In 1902, Revere's great-grandson, John P. Reynolds Jr.
purchased the building to prevent demolition, and restoration took
place under the guidance of architect and historic preservationist
In April 1908, the Paul Revere House opened its
doors to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in
the United States.
Despite the substantial renovation process which
returned the house to its conjectured appearance around 1700, ninety
percent of the structure (including two doors, three window frames,
and portions of the flooring, foundation, inner wall material and
raftering) is original to 1680, though none of the window glass is
Its heavy beams, large fireplaces, and absence
of interior hallways are typical of colonial living arrangements. The
two chambers upstairs contain several pieces of furniture believed to
have belonged to the Revere family.
Immediately adjacent (across the entry
courtyard, the original site of the John Barnard House) is the brick
Pierce-Hichborn House, built about 1711 as an early Georgian house,
and also operated as a nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial
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