Building and groundsThe building is situated on 6.7 acres (27,000 m2) of land on top of Beacon Hill in Boston, Massachusetts, Boston, opposite the Boston Common on Beacon Street. It was built on land once owned by John Hancock, Massachusetts's first elected governor. The Freemasonry, Masonic cornerstone ceremony took place on July 4, 1795, with Paul Revere, Deputy Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Massachusetts, presiding. Before the current State House was completed in 1798, Massachusetts's government house was the Old State House (Boston, Massachusetts), Old State House on what is now Washington Street. For the building's design, architect Charles Bulfinch made use of two existing buildings in London: William Chambers (architect), William Chambers's Somerset House, and James Wyatt's Pantheon, London, Pantheon. After Maine separated from Massachusetts and became an independent state in 1820, Charles Bulfinch designed Maine State House, Maine's capitol building with architectural influence of the Massachusetts Capitol building with a simplified Greek Revival influence. The Commonwealth completed a major expansion of the original building in 1895. The architect for the annex was Bostonian Charles Brigham. In 1917, the east and west wings, designed by architects Richard Clipston Sturgis, Sturgis, Gridley James Fox Bryant, Bryant, Chapman & Andrews, were completed. In July 2016, Governor Charlie Baker proposed to the state legislature to sell of permanent easement on the west side of the State House lawn to a neighboring condominium. The land in question was once pasture owned by John Hancock and the easement would allow for the addition of au pair units.
DomeThe original wood dome, which leaked, was covered with copper in 1802 by Paul Revere's Revere Copper Company. Revere was the first American to roll copper successfully into sheets (for copper sheathing) in a commercially viable manner. The dome was first painted gray and then light yellow before being gilded with gold leaf in 1874. During World War II, the dome was painted gray once again, to prevent reflection during blackouts and to protect the city and building from bombing attacks. In 1997, at a cost of more than $300,000, the dome was re-gilded, in 23k gold. The dome is topped with a gilded, wooden pine cone, symbolizing both the importance of Boston's lumber industry during early colonial times and of the state of Maine, which was a District of Maine, district of the Commonwealth when the Bulfinch section of the building was completed.
StatuaryIn front of the building is an Equestrian statue of Joseph Hooker, equestrian statue of General Joseph Hooker. Other statues in front of the building include Statue of Daniel Webster (Boston), Daniel Webster, educator Statue of Horace Mann, Horace Mann, and former US President Statue of John F. Kennedy (Boston), John F. Kennedy. The statues of Statue of Anne Hutchinson, Anne Hutchinson and Statue of Mary Dyer, Mary Dyer are located on the lawns below the east and west wings.
Inside the buildingThe original red-brick Bulfinch building contains the Governor's offices (on the west end) with the Massachusetts Senate occupying the former Massachusetts House of Representatives, House of Representatives Chamber under the dome. The Massachusetts House of Representatives occupies a chamber on the west side of the Brigham addition. Hanging over this chamber is the "Sacred Cod", which was given to the House of Representatives in 1784 by a Boston merchant. The Sacred Cod symbolizes the importance of the fishing industry to the early Massachusetts economy. The House Chamber is decorated with murals by Albert Herter, father of Massachusetts Gov. Christian Herter. Murals on the second floor under the dome were painted by artist Edward Brodney. Brodney won a competition to paint the first mural in a contest sponsored by the Works Progress Administration in 1936. It is entitled "Columbia Knighting Her World War Disabled". Brodney could not afford to pay models, and friends and family posed. The model for Columbia was Brodney's sister Norma Brodney Cohen, and the model for the soldier on one knee in the foreground was his brother Fred Brodney. In 1938, he painted a second mural under the dome called "World War Mothers". The models were again primarily friends and family members, with sister Norma sitting beside their mother Sarah Brodney. ''The New York Times'' notes that the murals are relatively rare examples of military art with women as their subjects. A staircase in front of the Bulfinch building leads from Beacon Street to Doric Hall inside the building. The large main doors inside Doric Hall are only opened on three occasions: # When the President of the United States or a foreign head of state visits. # When the Governor exits the building on his or her last day in office. This tradition is known as the Long Walk and begins when the Governor, alone, exits the Executive Chamber, walks down to the second floor, through Doric Hall, and out the main doors. He or she then descends the staircase, crosses Beacon Street, and enters Boston Common (park), Boston Common, symbolically rejoining the people of Massachusetts as a private citizen. The tradition has been interrupted during recent years. Governor William Weld descended the staircase on his last day in office July 29, 1997, meeting his successor then-Lt. Governor A. Paul Cellucci on the stairs. Four years later, then-Governor Cellucci was deprived of his symbolic chance to descend the State House steps because of ongoing renovations to the front of the building. Acting Governor Jane Swift elected to walk down the stairs with her family before departing for the Berkshire Mountains. On January 4, 2007, Deval Patrick chose to be sworn in on the staircase and give his inaugural address there, forcing outgoing Governor Mitt Romney to take the Long Walk the day before his last in office. # When a regimental flag is returned from battle. Since the regimental flags now return to Washington, D.C., this has not been done since the Vietnam War. The Samuel Adams and Paul Revere time capsule is a metal box located in a cornerstone of the State House, placed there in the late 18th century and rediscovered in 2014. The contents include coins, newspaper clippings and other historical artifacts.
Constitutional OfficersThe State House contains the primary offices of all the commonwealth's constitutional officers with exception of the Attorney General, who is based at the nearby McCormack Building. *Governor of Massachusetts, Governor and Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts, Lieutenant Governor (Room 360) *Massachusetts Governor's Council, Governor's Council (Room 184) *Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth, Secretary of the Commonwealth (Room 340) *Treasurer and Receiver-General of Massachusetts, Treasurer and Receiver-General (Room 227) *Massachusetts State Auditor, Auditor (Room 230)
LegislatureThe majority of State House office space is given over to the Legislature. Every member of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, House and Massachusetts Senate, Senate is assigned an office. Large third-floor suites are assigned to the List of Speakers of the Massachusetts House of Representatives, House Speaker (Room 356) and President of the Massachusetts Senate, Senate President (Room 332). Other offices include the House and Senate clerks, House and Senate counsel, and Legislative Information Services.
Fourth EstateOne corridor of the building's fourth floor is a sort of Newspaper Row (Boston), Newspaper Row, anchored by the large Press Gallery suite where reporters from a range of publications maintain desks. The central Press Gallery room was given to use of reporters by the Legislature in 1909. The Massachusetts State House Press Association, established in 1909, governs these shared workspaces. Some individual news outlets have separate offices. *Press Gallery—Headquarters of State House reporters for Associated Press, WWLP-TV, the The Eagle-Tribune, Eagle-Tribune papers, The Sun (Lowell), Lowell Sun, WGBH-FM, The Republican (Springfield, Massachusetts), Springfield Republican/Masslive, and Politico *State House News Service newsroom *WBUR-FM State House bureau *Boston Globe State House bureau *Kevin McNicholas Room, a shared space for broadcast stations
Veterans' OrganizationsA suite of rooms on the fifth floor is home to the Massachusetts headquarters of several veterans' groups, including the American Legion, American Legion Auxiliary, AMVETS, Disabled American Veterans, Italian American War Veterans of the United States, Jewish War Veterans of the United States of America, Korean War Veterans, Marine Corps League, Military Order of the Purple Heart, Persian Gulf Era Veterans, Polish Legion of American Veterans, Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Vietnam Veterans of America.
Services*United States Postal Service, U.S. Post Office - State House Station (ZIP Code 02133) *State House Cafe, open for breakfast and lunch with short-order grill and deli service and a variety of snacks
In popular cultureLiterature The State House is featured in the children's book ''Make Way for Ducklings''. One of Boston's most enduring Boston nicknames, nicknames, "The Hub of the Universe", is from a remark by Oliver Wendell Holmes Sr., Oliver Wendell Holmes from his 1858 book ''The Autocrat of the Breakfast-Table'' in which he mentions the State House (emphasis added): Films In the 1982 film ''The Verdict'', the State House interior is used as both a court house and hospital. The State House is featured prominently in the 2006 film ''The Departed'' as a symbol of the ambition of the antagonist, Colin Sullivan. Video games In the 2013 game ''The Last of Us'', both the interior and exterior of the building are depicted, which has been partially destroyed. The State House is featured in ''Fallout 4'', a video game by Bethesda Softworks.
See also* List of National Historic Landmarks in Boston * National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Boston, Massachusetts, National Register of Historic Places listings in northern Boston, Massachusetts * List of state and territorial capitols in the United States * Statue of Henry Cabot Lodge * History of early modern period domes
Further reading* Bridgman, Arthur Milnor (1908