Old South Meeting House in Boston – Clock and Bell

Photography school is long over for me, but I realized I never shared my Practicum project with you all! Practicum is the grand finale of the program: each student gets assigned a non-profit organization to complete a photographic project for them. I was lucky to get my first choice: Old South Meeting House in downtown Boston.

This working meeting-house and museum is an amazing place. I was immediately taken by the architecture,  and then by the rich history of the space. So many important parts of America’s revolution took part here! I have lots of photos of the museum, but first I want to share a special part of it that most people don’t get to see: the clock!

First you ascend a beautiful spiral staircase (blocked off to patrons for their safety):

There are many small rooms as you climb up the steeple:

Eventually, you get to the clock room; the clock mechanism is so intricate and gorgeous, a perfect blend of form, function, and beauty.

I took a tripod up the steeple with me to take long exposures in the dimly light rooms. It was just so cool!

The clock was recently renovated for the first time in over 200 years, which is why Old South Meeting House wanted to document it for its museum-goers.

The steeple has a balcony-level halfway up, and I took the opportunity to go out and take a look at the city. It was a foggy day, so I couldn’t see as far as I hoped, but it was still awesome!

The higher up the steeple I climbed, the narrower the chambers got, until I ended up at the very tip at the top of the stairs, a small space with porthole-like windows. And that was as far as I could go!

The steeple was fascinating to explore. The clock mechanism extends through multiple floors, some of which used to be colonial patriots’ libraries and studies.

One of the steeple rooms was empty; it used to house a bell, but there hasn’t been one in Old South for over a hundred years.

Then, weeks after I completed my Practicum, Old South contacted me again with great news: they’d procured the 1801 Paul Revere Bell! I came back to the museum to photograph it before it got installed in the steeple where it belongs.

I had the best time at Old South Meeting House. I can’t wait to share more images from my time with them, so stay tuned!



Filed under Architecture, Art, Boston, Photo Assignment, School

3 responses to “Old South Meeting House in Boston – Clock and Bell

  1. Pingback: Old South Meeting House in Boston – Museum and Architectural Details | Julie Sterling

  2. Pingback: Boston’s Old South Meeting House: Bell Installation Ceremony | Julie Sterling

  3. Pingback: A Little History for the Holidays | Julie Sterling

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