Boston National Historical Park

Coordinates: 42°21′36″N 71°03′23″W / 42.36000°N 71.05639°W / 42.36000; -71.05639
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Boston National Historical Park
Boston National Historical Park is located in Massachusetts
Boston National Historical Park
Boston National Historical Park is located in the United States
Boston National Historical Park
LocationInner harbor at mouth of Charles River, Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.
Coordinates42°21′36″N 71°03′23″W / 42.36000°N 71.05639°W / 42.36000; -71.05639
Area43 acres (17 ha)[2]
Built1776 (1776)
ArchitectAlexander Parris, et al.
Architectural styleGreek Revival, Colonial, Georgian
Visitation2,123,246 (2022)[3]
NRHP reference No.74002222[1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPOctober 26, 1974
Designated NHPOctober 26, 1974

The Boston National Historical Park is an association of sites that showcase Boston's role in the American Revolution and other parts of history. It was designated a national park on October 1, 1974. Seven of the eight sites are connected by the Freedom Trail, a walking tour of downtown Boston. All eight properties are National Historic Landmarks.

Five of the sites that make up the park are neither owned nor operated by the National Park Service, and operate through cooperative agreements established upon the park's creation. The park service operates visitor centers in Faneuil Hall and at the Charlestown Navy Yard.

Boston National Historical Park, along with Boston African American and Boston Harbor Islands, comprise the National Parks of Boston, all under the same superintendent.[4]


Park properties[edit]

Bunker Hill Monument[edit]

The Bunker Hill Monument, located at the top of Breed's Hill in the Charlestown neighborhood of Boston, is a granite obelisk that was constructed in the mid-19th century to commemorate the Battle of Bunker Hill, fought June 17, 1775. The property is owned and administered by the National Park Service.

Bunker Hill Museum[edit]

The park operates a small museum dedicated to the battle of Bunker Hill and other associated history, across the street from monument grounds. The museum is known for its large-scale diorama of the battle on the second floor.[5]

Charlestown Navy Yard[edit]

The Charlestown Navy Yard is located on the southern edge of Charlestown on the banks of the Charles River. Used during the American Revolutionary War as a shipyard, it continued to serve as a base of the United States Navy until 1975, when the Navy turned the property over to the National Park Service. The Yard is home to USS Constitution (the oldest floating commissioned naval vessel in the world), and USS Cassin Young, a destroyer from the Second World War that is now operated as a museum ship.

Dorchester Heights[edit]

Dorchester Heights was fortified by General George Washington in March 1776, compelling the British to withdraw from Boston and ending the Siege of Boston. A monument was erected on the site in 1902. Located in South Boston, Dorchester Heights is the only site in the park that is not on the Freedom Trail.

Affiliated sites and Freedom Trail partners[edit]

Faneuil Hall[edit]

Faneuil Hall, 2015

Faneuil Hall was first constructed in the 1740s, and was the site of important pro-independence speeches. The hall is owned and operated by the city of Boston, with the park service offering talks in the Great Hall.

Old North Church[edit]

The Old North Church, built in 1723, was the location where Paul Revere had signal lanterns lit on the night of April 18, 1775, prior to his "midnight ride" that led to the Battles of Lexington and Concord and the start of the revolutionary war. The church, the oldest operating in Boston, has an Episcopalian congregation, which owns and operates the building.

Old South Meeting House[edit]

Old South Meeting House, 2015

The Old South Meeting House, built in 1729 was the site of numerous pre-revolutionary meetings, including one, attended by a crowd estimated at more than 5,000, on the evening prior to the Boston Tea Party in December 1773. It served as a church until 1877, when it became a museum operated by a nonprofit organization dedicated to its preservation.

Old State House[edit]

The Old State House is the oldest municipal building in Boston. Built in 1713, it was the seat of the Colonial government, and afterward the State government, until 1798. The Boston Massacre took place in front of the building in 1770. In 1881 it was saved from destruction by the Bostonian Society, which was formed specifically to preserve it. The society still operates the City owned building as a museum. The Boston Massacre is reenacted regularly under the society's auspices.

Paul Revere House[edit]

The Paul Revere House is one of the oldest surviving buildings in Boston. It was built in 1680, and was purchased by Paul Revere in 1770. Today it is owned and operated by the Paul Revere Memorial Association as a museum.

Park Service activities[edit]

The National Park Service, in addition to managing its properties that are part of the park, operates visitor centers at Faneuil Hall (1st Floor) and at the Navy Yard. It offers guided tours of the Freedom Trail. The Navy offers tours of USS Constitution, which is adjacent to the Park Service's visitor center at the Navy Yard.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. November 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Listing of acreage – December 31, 2011" (XLSX). Land Resource Division, National Park Service. Retrieved 2012-12-26. (National Park Service Acreage Reports)
  3. ^ "Annual Park Ranking Report for Recreation Visits in: 2022". National Park Service. Retrieved July 23, 2023.
  4. ^ Charlestown, Mailing Address: Boston National Historical Park 21 Second Ave; Us, MA 02129 Phone: 617 242-5601 Contact. "National Parks of Boston - Boston National Historical Park (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2022-03-18.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: numeric names: authors list (link)
  5. ^ "Bunker Hill Museum (U.S. National Park Service)". Retrieved 2022-03-18.

External links[edit]