"State House" State House Tip by smschley

State House, Boston: 47 reviews and 87 photos


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The dome was originally made out of wood shingles and sheathed in copper installed by Paul Revere In was gilded in 1874 and again in 1997 with 23 karat gold.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

Directions: The State House is located on Beacon Hill, on land originally owned by John Hancock. The building teems with historic facts. Free tours offered weekdays, Monday through Friday, 10:00am to 4:00pm
Phone: 16177273676
Website: http://www.cityofboston.gov/

Review Helpfulness: 4.5 out of 5 stars

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  • Updated Feb 26, 2005
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