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What Is the Paul Revere House?

Parts of the USS Constitution are on display at the Paul Revere House.
Boston's role in shaping local and U.S. political history is still on display at old government buildings that still stand in the city.
Paul Revere was a messenger in the colonists' army and also commanded a regiment during the American Revolution.
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  • Written By: Paul Cartmell
  • Edited By: E. E. Hubbard
  • Images By: Aaron Headly, Mdbrockmann82, Mark J. Grenier
  • Last Modified Date: 26 October 2014
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The Paul Revere House is a U.S. national monument in the city of Boston, Massachusetts. It is located in the North End district of Boston, with the house being turned into a museum that is operated by the Paul Revere Memorial Foundation. An important figure in U.S. history, Paul Revere warned colonists of the impending British attack on Boston that marked the beginning of the U.S. Revolutionary War.

Operating as a museum for over a century, the Paul Revere House opened to the public in 1908, offering self-guided tours for interested visitors. Just a few years before, Revere's great-grandson bought the house, which had been converted into a tenement building with shops at street level, in order to preserve the space. The Paul Revere Memorial Foundation was founded in order to renovate the building and then operate the museum.

Located at 19 North Square, the Paul Revere House is the oldest building remaining in downtown Boston. The site on which it stands was actually the site of parsonage that was destroyed during the Great Fire of Boston in 1676. Four years later, a large house was built and occupied by a merchant named Robert Howard. Originally, the house was a two-story townhouse with later third-story extensions added. During the renovations by the Paul Revere Memorial Foundation, these extra stories were removed in order to return the Paul Revere House to its original appearance.

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With approximately 90% of the structure being original to the building, the only extra features added included some doors and window frames. In the upstairs portion of the house, two rooms have been decorated with furniture and soft furnishings owned by the Revere family. Since the family was known for being silversmiths, it is only natural that some of their work be on display at the house as well, including parts of the USS Constitution, which can been seen in the courtyard.

Paul Revere and his family owned and lived in the house from 1770 to 1800. At the time of Paul Revere's famous ride, the family included Revere's wife, Sarah, his mother, Deborah, and five children. Before the outbreak of the Revolutionary War, Paul Revere volunteered to be a messenger in the colonists army and later commanded a regiment during the war.

On the night of 18 April 1775, Revere received a signal warning the British were set to attack Massachusetts by sea. He and William Dawes set off on horseback to warn the residents of Massachusetts of the impending attack, with Revere captured by the British at Lexington. Paul Revere became famous for his ride through the poem known as The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

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