State House, Boston

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    Massachusetts State House, Boston
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  • Krumlovgirl's Profile Photo

    New State House

    by Krumlovgirl Written Jun 1, 2005

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    It would be hard to miss the beautiful golden domed building of the New State House. Located across from the Common and on the edge of Beacon Hill on Beacon Street, it truly is an astounding site. Being “new” it was built between 1795 and 1797 on land that was owned by John Hancock. Free tours are given year round from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. and last about 30 to 45 minutes. You can also give yourself a self-guided tour by picking up an info sheet. Just remember that it is closed on Saturday.

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    THE NEW STATE HOUSE

    by moiraistyx Updated Sep 12, 2006

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    THE NEW STATE HOUSE

    Construction of the "new" State House was completed in 1798 after 3 years of hard work. It stands directly across from the Boston Commons and on top of Beacon Hill on land once own by John Hancock. It was designed by a leading architect of the time, Charles Bullfinch. It's famous dome was once made of wooden shingles. Today it is sheather in copper, covered by 23 karat gold. A wooden codfish hangs in the House of Representatives chambers. It is said that the codfish signifies the importance of the fishing industry to the Commonwealth.

    Tours are free to the public and the building is open Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm.

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  • smschley's Profile Photo

    State House

    by smschley Updated Feb 26, 2005

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    Boston is home to two State houses. The "new" State House was designed by Charles Bulfinch, the leading architect of the day, with building starting in 1795 and completed in 1798. On July 4, 1795, two surviving fathers of the Revolution were on hand to break ground on the site that would house the ideals of their new Commonwealth in a graceful seat of government. Both Governor Samuel Adams and Paul Revere attended and jointly laid the cornerstone.

    The dome was originally made out of wood shingles and sheathed in copper installed by Paul Revere In was gilded in 1874 and again in 1997 with 23 karat gold. During World War II, the dome was painted gray so that it would not reflect moonlight during blackouts and thereby offer a target to anticipated German bombers. On the tops stands a pinecone, a symbol of the importance of pine wood, which was integral to the construction of Boston's early houses and churches, as well as the State House itself.

    Inside the State House are Doric Hall, with its statuary and portraits; the Hall of Flags, with an exhibit of the battle flags from all the wars in which Massachusetts regiments have participated; the Great Hall, an open space used for state functions that houses 351 flags from the cities and towns of Massachusetts; the governor's office; and the chambers of the House and Senate. The Great hall holds many pieces of art with the best-known being the carved wooden Sacred Cod, mounted in the Old State House in 1784 as a symbol of the commonwealth's maritime wealth.

    In the front lawn are two statues of note. One is of Anne Hutchinson, who challenged the religious hierarchy of the Massachusetts Bay Colony. She was excommunicated in 1638 and sentenced to banishment. Later she became one of the founders of Rhode Island. Her supporter, Mary Dyer, was also excommunicated; she later converted to the Quaker faith and was finally hanged for defending her beliefs

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    Gold on Top is Flacky

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 19, 2008

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    Frontal view of the capitol building
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    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.

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  • BruceDunning's Profile Photo

    The Interior is Magnificent

    by BruceDunning Updated Oct 19, 2008

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    Mosaic floor installed by Italians 1895
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    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.

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  • Jefie's Profile Photo

    Massachusetts State House

    by Jefie Written Jun 1, 2008

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    Massachusetts State House
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    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.

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  • johngayton's Profile Photo

    Downtown Walking

    by johngayton Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    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 ;)

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  • Mikebb's Profile Photo

    Oldest Public Building In Boston

    by Mikebb Updated Jun 7, 2008

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    The Old State House
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    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.

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  • Helga67's Profile Photo

    State House

    by Helga67 Updated Oct 31, 2006

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    State House

    The State House is a remarkable building located across from the Boston Common on the top of Beacon Hill. It was built in 1798. The dome, originally made out of wood shingles, is now sheathed in copper and covered by 23 karat gold.

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    State House Interior

    by BruceDunning Written Oct 17, 2008

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    Brochure on the State HOuse
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    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.

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  • The New State House

    by ElaineCatherine Written Mar 2, 2005

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    If you are out by the Commons and by Beacon Hill take a walk around the New State House. It is a really beautiful building and it has lots of interesting statues and commerative plaques around. Try to find the donkey statues, my kids like to try to ride on them!

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  • Paul2001's Profile Photo

    The Old State House

    by Paul2001 Written Aug 29, 2007

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    The Old State House and Boston Massacre site.

    The Old State House, built in 1713, is Boston's oldest public building. This was the seat of the old Colonial Government. It is a very pretty building with a tall white spire and built with bright red bricks. The balcony is famous for being the place where, in July 18, 1776, the Declaration of Independence was read to the locals. Even importantly, the spot on the eastside of the building, Devonshire and State streets, where the Boston Massacre took place on March 5, 1770 when British soldiers killed five protesting patriots. Inside of the Old State House is a passable museum dedicated to history of Boston with special emphasis place upon the Revolution. I visited this in 1996 but took a pass on it in 2007.
    The museum is open from 9am to 5pm daily and it costs $5.00 to enter.

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  • Hopkid's Profile Photo

    Massachusetts State House

    by Hopkid Written Jul 24, 2006

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    The seat of Massachusetts' governement, the State House sits on Beacon Street looking down on Boston Common. It is very distinctive with its golden dome designed by Charles Bulfinch and built in 1789 on land owned by John Hancock, a prominent signer of the Declaration of Independence.

    Free tours are offered Monday through Friday between 10am and 3pm. Call ahead for reservations (see number below). There is also an option of a self-guided tour from 9am through 5pm Monday through Saturday.

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    The old one by the British

    by Tijavi Updated Feb 12, 2010

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    The east facade with the independence balcony
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    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.

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  • Tijavi's Profile Photo

    The new one by the Yankees

    by Tijavi Updated Feb 12, 2010

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    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.

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