Friday, June 19, 2009

The "New" Massachusetts State House

Massachusetts State House
Beacon Hill

Boston, Mass.

The "new" Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill was completed in 1798, replacing the Old State House on State Street, as the new seat of state government. The building was designed by Charles Bullfinch and was located on land originally owned by John Hancock, the first governor of Massachusetts. The cornerstone of the building was laid by Samuel Adams, Paul Revere and other prominent Masons.

The buildings gold dome was originally just wood. The structure leaked so in 1802 it was overlayed with copper sheathing from Paul Revere's own company. The gold leaf was added in 1874 giving the dome its distinctive appearance.

The statues in front of the main structure of the building are of Horace Mann and Daniel Webster. In front of the visitors entrance, on the lower lawn, is a statue of Civil War General Joseph Hooker mounted on horseback. There are also statues of Anne Hutchinson, Mary Dyer and President John F. Kennedy. Inside the original building on the second floor can be found murals depicting scenes of early Massachusetts history and the Hall of Flags. On display in the Hall of Flags are Massachusetts Regimental flags from the nations wars.

The Massachusetts State House is open for tours Monday - Friday from 10:00 to 4:00 p.m. The building is closed on weekends and holidays.

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