We are so pleased that the Old State House welcomes over 100,000 visitors a year, but all that foot traffic can take its toll on a 300 year old building. We want the building to be as beautiful and welcoming to its visitors in 2017 as it was to its past visitors, so we are closed February 6 through 10 as our staff cleans the Old State House from top to bottom. We're busy this week polishing, painting, and scrubbing in anticipation of our upcoming busy season.
A 300 year old building like the Old State House requires a good deal of care, and in fact there are even records of its upkeep dating from the 1700s. One of those records is a bill from July 1, 1773 from the Province of Massachusetts Bay to Thomas Dawes for repairs to the Old State House. If you look closely, you can see an itemized list of numerous repairs, such as whitewashing the Council Chamber and Lobby.
The ink on this document is faded and the paper is delicate, but the Society has preserved it by keeping it in dark storage, reinforcing the edges with Japanese paper, and encasing it in a Mylar sleeve. Records like these help to tell the story of the Old State House and how it has changed (and stayed the same!) throughout its long history. It's possible that in the future, the receipts and invoices from our annual cleaning week will give individuals an idea of the work that went into maintaining the Old State House in the 21st century!
We re-open to the public on Saturday, February 11 at 9:00 am. Be sure to stop by and see our sparkling clean building!