The meeting house where colonists gathered to begin challenging British rule before the American Revolution and launched the Boston Tea Party has reopened.

The Old South Meeting House had been closed for more than a week.

Officials said Friday that debris from demolition at a neighboring building had entered the heating and air conditioning system and was distributed throughout the meeting house. They say there appears to be no permanent damage but the cleanup has been time-consuming and extensive.

The meeting house is one of the country's most important colonial-era sites.

It may be best known as the location where the Boston Tea Party began in 1773 when colonists dumped tea into Boston Harbor in defiance of the Tea Act, seen by many as a form of taxation without representation.