I first worked with Old South Meeting House in downtown Boston as part of my final Practicum project for photography school, a project where the school paired us up with non-profits to help them with their photographic needs. I had a wonderful time capturing their museum and their clock tower, and was so happy to be asked back to document the historic raising of their new bell! Old South managed to procure a rare 1801 Paul Revere bell, cast by P.R. himself in his North End foundry. Many festivities were planned for the day the bell was raised up into the steeple, and I was there to see it all happen.
The bell sat outside Old South all morning and people were welcome to approach and give her a ring. The air was filled with the lovely tone of this awesome bell and the happy faces of bell-ringers young and old were fun to see. Who doesn’t love ringing a giant bell and being a part of history?
Boston’s own Mayor Menino came to participate and ring the Paul Revere bell, along with Old South Meeting House benefactor, Mr. James Storrow. Menino cracked his mallet in his enthusiasm!
After as many people as possible got to ring the bell, it was ceremony time. The plaza across from Old South was jam-packed with people. There were speeches, performances by the Back Bay Bell Ringers, the Old South Church Choir, the Landmarks Orchestra Brass Ensemble, and the Boston Children’s Chorus.
Then it was time to lift the bell into the steeple. All the bells across Boston chimed in unison as the 1801 Paul Revere bell went up, up, and up!
It’s been great to have a relationship with Old South Meeting House; I love history, and this organization is just so cool. This behemoth of the American psyche, home of the Boston Tea Party, sits smack dab in the middle of the hustle and bustle of Downtown Crossing. They’re so accessible to everyone, such a presence in the community. And they have my work up in their gift shop gallery and on signage all over the place!
Read Old South’s press release for more information on this wonderful day, complete with my photos, HERE.