Friday, March 21, 2008

The Project

By the beginning of April, there will be scaffolding on the Old State House tower. In order to shore up substantial rotting wood and stop chronic water infiltration, The Bostonian Society, steward of the Old State House for more than 100 years, is embarking on a 10-week project to restore the tower. An expert team--Don Tellalian, AIA, of Tellalian Associates Architects & Planners, preservation consultant Judith Selwyn, and project manager Pam Bailey from general contractor Lee Kennedy Co.--will repair and reseal all windows, replace the copper roofing at each level, repair the balustrades, and replace the wood siding. This vital preservation work will prevent further structural damage and protect the priceless artifact collections housed in the Old State House. It will also protect the system of weights and pulleys that extend from the tower to the historic 1831 Simon Willard clock on the building's east fa├žade.

The tower project is the next step in the master plan for the stabilization, preservation, and re-interpretation of the Old State House. This multi-year effort is spearheaded by The Bostonian Society, but involves many partners--the City of Boston, the National Park Service, and donors big and small. As the Society proceeds with this $10-12 million project, it welcomes contributions from all who are Bostonians at heart, and who recognize the importance of Boston's historic heritage.

In the 18th century, the Old State House tower boasted one of the highest views in town, and it was an excellent place to watch the ships in Boston harbor and the comings and goings of Bostonians below. Nowadays, there are many skyscrapers up and down State Street that afford a higher view, but looking out at Boston from the Old State House tower is still a singularly breathtaking experience. It reminds me what an island of continuity this little building is, amid a sea of change. We invite you to come see for yourself why the Old State House is so important, and then to help us preserve this piece of our common history.

Rainey Tisdale
Director of the Old State House Museum