The row houses at 5 & 6 Lathrop Place, along with the privately owned 7 & 8 Lathrop Place, sit on land that was part of Paul Revere’s backyard. In 1835 Lydia Loring, the owner of Revere’s North Square property, sold her backlot to housewrights John Perkins and Jonathan Robinson who built this continuous row of houses from 1835 to 1836.
Originally built as a two-and-one-half story two-family home with a full basement and one-story rear kitchen addition, the structure was renovated and enlarged over the years. One of a small number of wood buildings remaining in the North End, this property is an important example of modest workers’ houses built before mass immigration forced the construction of larger wooden and brick tenements.
The buildings were initially used as boarding houses, with rooms rented to young men who worked as bookkeepers, painters, carpenters, riggers, fruit vendors, and masons. In the early 20th century, as more Italians moved into the North End seeking family homes, Lathrop Place transitioned into traditional single-family dwellings, each owned by a series of Italian families from 1902 until 2007.
The building was purchased by the Association in 2007 and rehabilitated to serve as an Education and Visitor Center. Every effort was made to restore or replicate key historical features including the cooking fireplaces, stairways, windows, cornice, and clapboards, and to preserve the structure’s early history as a home to North End workers and families. This important structure now combines historic features with modern amenities for our visitors.