Built in 1680, the unimposing wooden house at 19 North Square is the oldest house in downtown Boston. The 3-story building was the home of silversmith and Boston Patriot Paul Revere from 1770-1800, previously housing the parsonage of the Second Church of Boston. Revere sold the house in 1800 and it became a tenement with the ground floor used for shops and various businesses over the years. In 1902, Revere’s great-grandson purchased the property and restored it so that it could be opened to the public. In 1908, after restoration by architects and preservationists, the Paul Revere House opened to the public as one of the earliest historic house museums in Boston and the U.S.
During the American Revolution, Revere acted as a messenger for the battles of Lexington and Concord. On the evening of April 18, 1775, Revere left his house in the North End and traveled to the Old North Church, beginning his famous “midnight ride.” After informing patriots at the church of the movements of the British army, he rode to Lexington with William Dawes to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock, who were wanted by the British army.
After the war, Revere opened a hardware and home goods store and then an iron and brass foundry in the North End. Though he lived in other homes in Boston, Revere spent most of his adult life in this North End home with his family. The two upstairs rooms of the Paul Revere House contain furniture believed to have belonged to the Revere family. In addition, 90% of the building’s structure is original.