Behind the wooden chapel was the Boston Latin School. The Boston Latin School is the oldest American public school still operating, though it is now located in the Longwood neighborhood. The school trained many of America’s founders, including Benjamin Franklin, Samuel Adams, and John Hancock.
On the site of the former Latin School now stands the Old City Hall, symbolizing the far more cosmopolitan spirit of Victorian Boston. Completed in 1865, it was an inspired example of the French Second Empire style, with its distinctive copper mansard roof, now a faded blue-green. The handsome building served until 1969, when the new City Hall opened nearby at Government Center.