_". . . then and there the child Independence was born."_ ?John Adams, after hearing James Otis argue against the _Writs of Assistance_ at the Old State House in 1761
The Old State House is a history book of a building. Within its walls, American revolutionaries gave birth to a new nation. RevolutionaryBoston?the museum that now occupies the building?tells their stories.
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The Old State House occupies a spot along Boston's Freedom Trail: Two-and-a-half miles dotted with 16 different historical sites. Follow the brick-lined path to other destinations, such as the USS Constitution in the Boston Navy Yard.
Shouts of “huzzah” ring out from the decks of a restored tea ship on the Boston Harbor, led by live actors costumed in waistcoats and tri-corner hats. Their triumphant shouts urge guests to take part in the events and acts of rebellion that helped spark the Revolutionary War. Inspired colonists meet Sam Adams who encourages guests to take place in a revolutionary act of resistance and throw tea into Boston harbor with the daring Sons of Liberty.
In addition to the array of immersive, high-tech storytelling devices and ornate replicas—the restored wooden ships were constructed by the craftsmen behind the film Master and Commander: The Far Side of the World—the museum houses a novel artifact: an original tea chest recovered from the shores of Boston after the Tea Party, of which there are only two in existence.
It’s not often that a building is as cutting edge as what it houses, but that’s the case with Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art. Set on Boston Harbor, the 65,000-square-foot cantilevered structure boasts amazing views, perched as it is right at the water’s edge with its enormous glass windows. The museum, founded in 1936, has hosted exhibits by the likes of Andy Warhol and Roy Lichtenstein over the years and, more recently, by artists such as Tara Donovan and Shepard Fairey. Since 2000, the museum has been building a permanent collection which rotates about once a year. Visitors can also enjoy a variety of multimedia art, videos, installations and performing arts programs.
Unlike many nightlife hotspots, The Urban Art Bar does not feature dimmed lights and loud music. Instead, the brand new studio's overhead lights provide ample light to see by and soft music fills the background to create an atmosphere catering to their patrons? true task?painting. At the head of the room sits one of a team of resident artists, each a local professional, who leads each gathering in the step-by-step re-creation of a particular painting. The staff also provides all necessary materials, including paint, brushes, canvases, and smocks, which prevent paint from getting all over clothing when students joyously hug their finished product. To fuel this creativity fest, the Bar's brand new design provides wine, beer, cocktails, and food for patrons to sip on as they relax and explore their artistic side.
Music connoisseurs and building buffs regard Symphony Hall as one of the finest concert halls in the world. Sixteen replicas of Greek and Roman statues line the walls, and its airy space lends a majestic resonance to each string pluck and unexpected sneeze. Opened in 1900, Symphony Hall was the first auditorium designed in accordance with scientifically derived acoustic principle, sloping inward to help focus the sound of the orchestra's stirring string renditions.
To keep the spirit of its musical roots ever near, House of Blues Houston keeps a metal box of mud from the Delta Mississippi beneath its stage and proudly displays the traditional crazy quilt. As the only venue in the revered chain to be built vertically rather than free floating, House of Blues Houston stands as a pillar of entertainment in the Houston Pavilions complex. The hot spot’s Bronze Peacock Room commemorates Houston's rich history and the blues clubs where Lightnin' Hopkins and Big Mama Thornton held sway, and features an enormous hand-painted mural depicting other local legends such as Albert Collins and Johnny "Guitar" Watson.