The Paul Revere Memorial Association opened its new Education and Visitor Center at Lathrop Place on Saturday December 3, 2016. This marks the culmination of a transformational project and multi-year construction effort to make the Paul Revere House historic site fully handicapped accessible, provide modern amenities for all visitors, debut a new permanent exhibit on Paul Revere’s ride, share changing exhibits on his fascinating business career, offer new programs in dedicated spaces, and expand the museum shop. (Select photo gallery images to enlarge.)
The new Center is perfectly located in an abutting 1835 row house that sits on land that once belonged to Paul Revere. Key features of Lathrop Place, an important but formerly forlorn historic building (windows, stairways, fireplaces, and clapboards) have been lovingly restored.
The Grand Opening included a gathering of friends and supporters of the Paul Revere House, along with a weekend long series of public events, complete with traditional music, libations and historical perspectives.
Executive Director Nina Zannieri noted, “With the new Education and Visitor Center, we are better positioned to welcome growing numbers of visitors with comfortable program rooms, new exhibits, and accessible restrooms. Equally important is the fact that we were able to save a neighborhood building with its own historic significance and stories to tell. We are enormously proud that we have been able to retain the warmth and feel of this wonderful old building while elevating it to a new use.”
The project was funded by a $4.1 million-dollar capital campaign that attracted over 600 donors. Major donors included the Massachusetts Cultural Facilities Fund, the National Park Service, National Endowment for the Humanities, LPL Financial, Ruby W. and Lavon Linn Foundation, Amelia Peabody Charitable Fund, several anonymous donors, and Julia and Mark Casady and the One Step Forward Education Foundation.
Many years in the making, the new Education Center addresses several long-standing issues including lack of space and full access. During peak tourist seasons, over 2,000 individuals per day tour the modest home of Revolutionary figure Paul Revere and his family. Lack of readily available dedicated space for educational programming, made it uncomfortable to accommodate school groups. Visitors with diminished mobility have never been able to view the 2nd floor of the Revere House due to limitations of adding new construction to such a historically significant structure. Record attendance in 2015 and 2016 has only increased the need for this important expansion effort.
This new facility will enhance visitor services with the level of amenities visitors expect at a nationally significant historic site—restrooms, a water fountain, a museum shop, and a sheltered area where they may gather to escape sun, snow, and rain. The new Center features exhibits that provide visitors with an enhanced knowledge of Paul Revere’s ride, the Revolution, and Revere’s career as a silversmith and early industrialist. Visitors will view a detailed diorama of Revere’s silver shop while examining Revere silver. It will also allow the Association to display more of its collection, including Revere family items, materials related to the midnight ride, and objects from Revere’s many business ventures.
From November 1 to April 14 the Revere House is open daily from 9:30 AM to 4:15 PM except Mondays in January, February, and March. Admission to the Paul Revere House is $5 for adults, $4.50 for seniors and college students and $1 for children ages 5-17. Members and North End Residents are admitted free at all times. The Paul Revere House has a new website highlighting the entire new landmark campus.
Article courtesy of the Paul Revere House Museum. Photos by Matt Conti.