Patrick Gabridge and Courtney O’Connor
Using the Hancock Door to Unlock Unheard Historical Voices
The Hancock Mansion was erected in 1737 by Thomas Hancock, Boston’s richest merchant, atop Beacon Hill. His nephew, John Hancock, who was the first elected Governor of Massachusetts, inherited the House in 1764 and it served as a prominent meeting spot during the lead up to the Revolution and beyond. John Hancock was a popular benefactor and politician in Boston and was the first elected governor of Massachusetts. By the mid-1800s the Mansion had fallen out of style and the family struggled to maintain it, and 1863 it was torn down and some items were auctioned off.
The destruction of the House spurred the creation of the historical preservation movement in Boston, which helped save the Old State House, the Old South Meeting House, the Paul Revere House, and many other buildings.
The door from the Hancock Mansion is on display at the Old State House, and a new one-act play explores unheard voices from history and the Hancock household. This session will share the history of the house and Hancock household, as well as the process of creating site- and object-specific theatrical work.