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Old South Meeting House receives $480,000 in federal money to fix water damage

It's time for a renovation at Old South Meeting House in downtown Boston where the clock doesn't appear to keep the correct hour.David L. Ryan/Globe Staff

Ahead of the 250th anniversary of The Boston Tea Party, the Old South Meeting House is due for a climate-friendly renovation with help from the federal government.

Senator Edward J. Markey on Friday joined staff from Revolutionary Spaces, the nonprofit that manages the Washington Street landmark, to celebrate $480,000 in federal funding, according to a

Nat Sheidley, the president of Revolutionary Spaces, also attended the morning ceremony. The house, where the tea party was planned, is a popular stop on the Freedom Trail.

The site experienced flood and water damage in 2021 from hurricanes Henri and Ida, leading to the corrosion of its foundation and frame, according to Markey’s office and Revolutionary Spaces.


The federal dollars secured by Markey, Senator Elizabeth Warren, and the state’s congressional delegation will help preserve and conserve the space where more than 5,000 people debated the tea tax.

The money was part of $42 million in federal funds for 34 community-based projects in Greater Boston that address climate change, affordable housing, education equity, and other projects, the senators said in a statement announcing the funding in February.

The money will fund ways to make the building water-tight, including waterproofing walls, installing exterior trench drains, filling gaps beneath the exterior sidewalk, and installing a new sump pump, Revolutionary Spaces said.

The work is set to be completed by mid-December, just before the 250th anniversary of the tea party.

The federal funding will be matched with public and private monies, according to Revolutionary Spaces.

The meeting house will be open to the public and operate under its normal schedule throughout construction, the organization said.

Maeve Lawler can be reached at