Built in 1798, on land once owned by John Hancock, the Massachusetts State House is the oldest building on Beacon Hill. With its marble-floored corridors and 23 karat gold-covered dome, this building is not only aesthetically elegant but is historically rich as well. Home to the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the governor’s offices, the State House is the working legislative institution of the state. Boston is the site of many American historical institutions and landmarks. While this building is a memorial to history, it is also a living, working entity of governmental power.
Though the building is over two hundred years old, it is still known as the “New State House,” come down and find out why! Walk through the grounds covering two city blocks and view the statues of John F. Kennedy, Anne Hutchinson, Horace Mann, and General Joseph Hooker. Explore the gilded halls and marvel at the extensive art collection including paintings of past presidents, legislators, and American historical events. Visit the House of Representatives chambers on your tour and see your government in action. Come by the State House and see the continuity of history as it is constantly being preserved and created.
Tours are a great option for groups. Take one of the informative conducted tours led every weekday and learn from the knowledgeable guides about everything from the history of the “Old State House” and its replacement to the legislative process and the formation of a bill. If you would prefer, tours can be self-guided or there are also special tours for school classes by reservation and those specified on the legislative process are given. The Freedom Trail Foundation also offers tours which lead through the State House and include other additional sites as well. Most tours last roughly 30-45 minutes though you may want to stay and enjoy the scenery longer.