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Boston’s Old State House fighting winds and age with latest maintenance

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Oldest public building in U.S.

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The Old State House in downtown Boston, the oldest public building in the United States, is undergoing another round of routine maintenance, including restoration of the south facade’s windows and a fresh coat of paint on the structure’s woodwork.

Why so routine? As the Globe’s Alyssa Meyers explains, the Old State House is, well, old. It dates from 1713, and has seen service as the hub of first the colony’s government, then the commonwealth’s, and, in the 1800s, the seat of the City of Boston.

In between state and municipal use, it was commercial space; and, after the city moved, it fell into disrepair.

So part of the ongoing maintenance is an ongoing reaction to this long-ago disrepair.

Another part is the Old State House’s location in “the middle of a wind tunnel,” according to the executive director of the Bostonian Society, which maintains the city-owned property.

Gusts coming off the harbor basically chip away at it. Hence the repairs—and, as Meyers points out, the near-constant presence of scaffolding.