Pierce–Hichborn House

The Pierce–Hichborn House (circa 1711) is an early Georgian house located at 29 North Square, Boston, Massachusetts. It is immediately adjacent to the Paul Revere House and is now operated as a nonprofit museum by the Paul Revere Memorial Association. An admission fee is charged.

Pierce–Hichborn House
Pierce-Hichborn House, Boston, Massachusetts (front view).jpg
Pierce–Hichborn house from the front
Location29 North Sq., Boston, MA
Coordinates42°21′48.61″N 71°3′13.46″W / 42.3635028°N 71.0537389°W / 42.3635028; -71.0537389Coordinates: 42°21′48.61″N 71°3′13.46″W / 42.3635028°N 71.0537389°W / 42.3635028; -71.0537389
Built1711 (1711)
ArchitectPierce, Moses
Architectural styleGeorgian
NRHP reference No.68000042 [1]
Significant dates
Added to NRHPNovember 24, 1968
Designated NHLNovember 24, 1968
A view from the street of the Pierce–Hichborn House.


The Pierce–Hichborn House is three stories tall, faced in common-bond brickwork with decorative belt courses and large sash windows. Its narrow side elevation faces the street, with its main facade opening onto a compact private passageway. Inside it is laid out on each floor as a narrow central hallway and stairway with a single heated room to either side. Framing is oak and the trim is pine, including fireplace mantels. Originally each room had two front-facing windows and two side windows although later extensions to the side of the house farthest from the street eliminated those side windows. The house is not rectangular and its street-side corner is very sharp to take full advantage of the small urban lot.


The original dwelling was probably destroyed in the 1711 Boston fire.[2] The house is an excellent example of early Georgian architecture and one of the earliest surviving brick structures in Boston. It was built by glazier Moses Pierce, the grandson of John Jeffs, who built the neighboring Paul Revere House thirty years earlier. Even then the neighborhood was urban, and the house stood three doors down the square from the Revere House. William Shippard purchased the house in 1747.[3] Nathaniel Hichborn, a boatbuilder and cousin of Paul Revere, acquired the house from Shippard in 1781. The Hutchinson family lived in the house until 1864. It became a tenement and store until the early 1940s.[3]

Pierce–Hichborn House and Paul Revere House, North Square in the North End, April 18, 1956. Leon Abdalian Collection, Boston Public Library

In 1941, the Society for the Preservation of New England Antiquities bought the house at a bank auction. In 1949, descendants of Hichborn led an effort to restore the house.[4] The house was named a National Historic Landmark by the National Park Service on November 24, 1968. As per procedure, the house was also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[1] In 1970, ownership was turned over to the Paul Revere Memorial Association, who operate the house as a museum in conjunction with the Revere house.[3]

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. January 23, 2007.
  2. ^ Kornwolf, James D. (2002). Architecture and Town Planning in Colonial North America. Baltimore, MD: The Johns Hopkins University Press. p. 965. ISBN 978-0-8018-5986-1.
  3. ^ a b c https://npgallery.nps.gov/NRHP/GetAsset/NHLS/68000042_text
  4. ^ Andros, Howard S. (2001). Buildings and Landmarks of Old Boston. Lebanon, NH: University Press of New England. p. 17. ISBN 978-1-58465-092-8.

Further readingEdit

  • Ross, Marjorie Drake. Book of Boston: The Colonial Period, 1630–1775. NY: Hastings House, 1960.
  • Eldredge, Joseph. Architecture Boston. Barre, MA: Barre Publishing, 1976.
  • "Pierce/Hichborn house: a new look at an old landmark," Alliance Letter, May 1983, pp. 5, 10–11.
  • "Paul Revere and Moses Pierce–Hichborn houses in Boston," Antiques, Feb. 1984.
  • Vila, Bob. Bob Vila's Guide to Historic Homes of New England. NY: Lintel Press, 1993.
  • "Three days in Boston," Interiors, April 2000, pp. 75–76.

External linksEdit