Massachusetts State House

Boston
MA

Portrait by Artist to Come

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Built in 1798, on a cow pasture once owned by John Hancock, this state seat of government replaced the Old State House. It is a magnificent Federalist structure, designed by Charles Bullfinch, with a distinctive golden dome, which was originally wood, then copper — provided by Paul Revere. It was covered with 23 karat gold leaf for the first time in 1874.

The daily business of governing Massachusetts, by the governor, senators, and representatives, continues at the State House today. Tours are available.

Part of the Freedom Trail™.

Associated People

Paine’s pamphlet Common Sense (1775), urging the colonies to declare their independence, found 150,000 purchasers in a population of less than 3 million — the equivalent today of a sale of 14 million.

Richard Brookhiser
Gentleman Revolutionary: Gouverneur Morris, the Rake Who Wrote the Constitution (2003)