King Street?

The Old State House sits at the intersection of Washington Street and State Street in downtown Boston, so why is the title of our blog On King Street?  What Bostonians know of today as State Street was called King Street when the Old State House was built in 1713.  During and after the Revolutionary War residents of Boston did not want to have one of their main city streets named after a King that they no longer supported.  In 1784 King Street was changed to State Street, though there are references to Bostonians referring to the street by other names before the official name change. 

Detail of 1775.3 BOS
In the 1700s, King Street was populated with businesses, taverns, and coffee houses.  It is one of the oldest streets in Boston, and the view from the Old State House’s balcony down the street to Long Wharf remains one of the few views in Boston that has not changed drastically in over three hundred years. 

Keep an eye out for an upcoming post with more details about King Street and interesting facts about the Old State House’s 18th century neighbors that Revolutionary Characters Manager, Daud Alzayer, has discovered after extensive research on the history of King Street.

For even more information about the history of Boston streets, check out The Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston by Annie Thwing.

By Elizabeth Roscio, Library and Archives Manager