Friday, November 4, 2016

Visiting the historic Paul Revere House in Boston

The Paul Revere House is not one of the easiest historic sites to find in Boston. It is located in the North End where much has changed in the last 200 years. This is the Italian section today. When the Reveres lived in the house, it was a working class neighborhood. The house is dwarfed by all the buildings around it as is so often the case with downtown historic houses. If you follow the Freedom Trail red bricks you should be able to locate it. There are no signs that I could find pointing it out. It is one block east of Hanover St. Was The Paul Revere House worth finding? Yes and no.

The cost of entry is $3.50 for adults and for an additional $1 you get two postcards and a visitor's guide. No photography is allowed inside the house.

You can begin by looking at a bell that was produced by the Revere Foundry which is housed in the courtyard. Another one of the Revere bells is in the steeple of St Stephens Church around the corner. You have to wait to be allowed into the house as it is indeed very small.

The Paul Revere House was built in 1681 for a wealthy merchant Robert Howard. It was constructed in the Tudor style with the second floor overhanging the first and an irregular shape. By the time it was purchased by Paul Revere 90 years later, it had undergone many changes. One very interesting fact that you will learn here was that Paul was the son of a French Huguenot émigré named Appolos Rivere. Somehow, one would never think that Paul was a first generation American.

You visit four rooms inside The Paul Revere House. A docent on available for questions on each floor as well as informational signs in each of the rooms.

The kitchen is the first room as you enter. This was not the location of the kitchen in the Howard House, it was in the basement. It has a large fireplace and in it are the implements that they would have used to cook meals. A fence keeps you from getting too close to anything and since there is no crowd control if there are more than a few people in the room you are going to have a very hard time reading any of the signs.

Considering that it was after 3 p.m. in the afternoon on a November weekend and we were surrounded by visitors, I can't even begin to imagine what it might be like in the season. It really was a shame because the signs we did get to read were very interesting. I wish they would offer a headphone tour or at the very least a brochure that would give you the information. The folder that I bought does not give the information on the signs.

The front room is decorated as if they were celebrating an occasion. It was a real multi- purpose room being used as a dining room and as a parlor.

The stairs are steep and narrow so you need to have a certain amount of mobility. The second floor holds the master bedroom and what was probably Paul's mother Deborah's room, the children would have slept on the third floor.


As far as historic houses go, The Paul Revere House isn't an amazing house but it was the home of one of Boston's most famous patriots. For that alone, you will want to find and visit it. After you leave you can always go and get in line at one of the bakeries to get a cannoli.

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