The Massachusetts State House can be found right at the start of the Freedom Trail. On the day that I visited, the State House was easy to spot from across the common with the dome glistening in the Autumn sunshine.
The State House is open to the public from 10:00 - 16:00 Monday to Friday and after passing through a security check I went up to Doric Hall to pick up a free guided tour. The tour lasted for just over 30 minutes and it gave me a good insight into the building's history as well as the architecture. I found the Nurses Hall with its statue of a Civil War nurse tending to a fallen soldier particularly poignant. The circular Hall of Flags with its display of original flags that were carried into battle was also extremely interesting. After the tour had finished I chose to spend some additional time just wandering around and getting a real feel for the place and was lucky enough to be allowed into the legislative chamber whilst it was sitting.
Overall, well worth a visit!
This magnificent golden domed State House is the replacement for the equally magnificent, and perhaps more elegant, Old State House in downtown Boston. It is suffused with symbolism, the two key elements being the pine cone on the top of the dome, symbolising the importance of Massachusetts lumber industry, and the "Sacred Cod" inside, symbolising the importance of fishing.
The building has been home to a number of famous names who held the office of Governor of Massachusetts. The current incumbent might is the, perhaps, not so well known Deval Patrick, but he took over from the Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney. The State House was built on land owned by John Hancock, the first Governor and signatory to the Declaration of Independence.
Samuel Adams was also a governor, as was the wonderfully named Increase Sumner, who had the briefest stay in office. Former president Calvin Coolidge made a home here before moving on to the White House. Michael Dukakis held office here for two terms and failed in his presidential bid when he came up against George Bush the elder.
You can visit the State House on your own or with a guided tour.
Boston City centre is compact enough to be mostly explored on foot, whether following a specific route (such as The Freedom Trail) or just meandering.
This is the thing about New England, this is where it all started from, the Pilgrim Fathers and the initial colonization of America, the dodgy deals with the native population, and then the disillusionment with the Imperial British Empire, regarding taxation and other not so popular issues. It is interesting to see how the original Puritans came across, settled in New England, became rebels and downright revolutionaries and set an ideal in motion - the land of the free. And so from a religious, aesthetic background, we develop the modern America with its tolerances and its strictures, its idiosyncratic wholeness as a nation but yet its individuality as a set of states, each to their own devices.
I assume this is the balcony where the Declaration of Independence was read to the populus, to loud cheers and “Down with the English!” as us proper Europeans get on with the job of forming a civilized nation ;)
This State House is one of the 16 historical sites along the Freedom Trail. This building was the headquarters of the British government in Boston.
Open daily 9:00 - 5:00
Closed Thanksgiving, Dec. 25, Jan. 1
Further up on Beacon Hill is a grander, much bigger state house - the Massachusetts State House, which retains its original function, that of a state capitol. Construction started almost decades after the declaration of American independence in 1795, based on Charles Bulfinch's design. It is one America's earliest state capitols, and serves as as model for those of other states, particularly its dome. Most importantly, it is served as the model for the US Capitol in Washington DC.
Reservations are needed to enter the capitol, and unfortunately, didn't make any arrangements for it. From outside, it indeed looked grand with the copper-and-gold-sheathed dome shining on a cloudy autumn day.
The original state house, now known as the Old State House, is located in Boston's financial district. It housed Britain's colonial government between 1713 and 1776. From independence, the building was converted to several uses such as a produce market, a merchant's exchange, a Masonic lodge and Boston's city hall.
One of America's most important historical landmarks, the Old State House is today a museum dedicated to the American revolution. Take time to stop by the sound and light show on the Boston Massacre for a better appreciation of the most critical points in American history.
The balcony on the east facade is most significant for being the site of the declaration of American independence in 1776. One wonders if the founding fathers of America at that time have envisioned their country to become the world's most powerful, economically, politically and militarily.
The Massachusetts State House is in the Beacon Hill section of Boston. The statehouse is where the offices of the Governor and the state legislature.
The Golden Dome of the building makes it stand out among the other building od Boston. Most people recognize the building from the movie The Departed.
The Massachusetts State House dominates the northern part of the Boston Common near Park Station, and it is one of the first stops along Freedom Trail. The building is especially beautiful if you happen to be in Boston on a sunny day, when the gold dome shines brightly. The House was built in the late 1790s, and the dome was first covered in copper, then gold leaf, then painted over (in WWII this was done as a precaution) and, finally in 2003, the gold was restored. The building is of a rosy-red brick and houses the government of the state, the Governor’s office and various governmental agencies. On the lawns around the State House you’ll find a number of notable state residents memorialized in statues, including an impressive equestrian statue of John Hooker. I’m not sure if the State House is open for visits, as I was there fairly early, but you can usually go on guided tours, which must be arranged before hand. Still, the true beauty of the building is probably best seen from afar, where you can get great shots of the entire structure and its gold dome.
The Massachusetts State House is across Boston Common on Beacon Hill. It is hard not to notice it as it is a grand building with a golden dome (it is truly made of pure gold). This is the place where the state's elected representatives work on important legislations that impact the lives of everyone.
For State House tours, check out this website:
Not many State Capitols could rival this one that has been a solid base of symbolic freedom for over 200 years. It was continually added on and the additions just added to the splendor. The best part is the knowledgable tour guides and the ability to walk through nearly every area of the Capitol building. They have replica memorable flags from the evolution of our country and used in wars in the Hall of Flags, a rotunda with magnificent elegance, and the Nurses hall demonstrates that the dying have a supporting role from the empathic servants. Doric hall, where there tour starts has ten columns and the main door entry to the Capitol. It is only used for the Governor upon his/her exit from office and official ceremonies.
After the initial construction in 1795-98 the depth was only 65 feet. The next addition was in 1895 and they brought over many Italian masters to lay the floors and make stained glass. The stained glass is of the State seals used over the years, and the one in the middle is of the Indian significance of the area. The last addition was for the back section for the Great Hall, which houses the nearly 85% of the City flags of the State.
The capitol was built in stages. The first portion was designed by Charles Bulfinch in 1787. The construction began 1795 and completed in 1798. It covers about 2 city blocks and was at one time 6 acres with the grounds. It initially was only 65 feet deep. Additions continued through the years, with the major being in 1895 with the back section added. Later in 1914 more room went into the end section. There is the Doric Hall with 10 columns, and the nurses hall, hall of flags and great hall encompassing a lot of the buildings. In 1895 they painted the front yellow to match the back Legislature similiar color. Later it was changed back to the red brick.
Paul Revere covered the wooden dome in 1802 with copper, but it was painted gray until 1874 when it was gilded with gold leaf. Then WWI it was painted black. Later, in 1997 the dome was again redone in gold leaf for $300,000 price tag. The top dome has a pine cone signifying the local reliance on lumber.
The building was first built in 1795-98. It had major expansion to the wings, and the dome was covered with copper by Paul Revere in 1802, Since then they have inlaid with 23 carat gold 4 times, the last costing $300,000. In 1895 the back addition greatly expanded to space and added magnificent halls.
Tours are 104 Monday-Friday and well worth the one+ hours.
The Boston State House is a beautiful piece of architecture and easily one of the most aesthetically pleasing attractions available in the city. Overlooking Boston Common, the State House also marks the beginning of the Freedom Trail which walks thousands of tourists through the various historical sites that are popular in the city.
The five dollar entry fee was well worth the entry to this building which is one of the most historically significant sites in the nation. Built in 1713 as the seat of British Government it was in this building that Samuel Adams and other Boston patriots first debated basic ideas that became foundations of the U.S. government.
The Boston Massacre took place outside the Old State House doors in March 1770 and helped spark the Revolution. In 1776 the Declaration of Independence was read from the balcony to the people of Boston.
The building is now a historic site and a museum of Boston's history. We took an hour to go through the various exhibits spread over several levels, all very interesting and well worth the visit.
The state's capitol building is easily recognizable thanks to its massive golden dome. Located in the Beacon Hill area, the State House was designed by Charles Bulfinch, one of the city's most prominent architects. The main building was completed in 1798 and is open to visitors free of charge. After going through security, you can join a guided tour or you can visit the building on your own, which I thought was rather unusual - every time I turned a corner I was afraid someone would tell me I had no business there but no, the staff was actually quite friendly and made sure to welcome us every time we'd step into a new room. As there were many school groups around, it was a bit difficult to hear what the tour guide was saying so I was glad we were given the option of going on a self-guided tour (we got to visit the Doric Hall, the Nurses Hall, the Hall of Flags, the Great Hall, the House of Representatives, the Senate Chamber and the Library).
The State House is open for visit from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm on weekdays.