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Notes from the Archives: On this day in 1798, the Massachusetts State House opens

January 11, 2018

On this day in 1798, the Massachusetts Legislature conducted its first day of business in the newly built State House.

Massachusetts State House, 1973 October, Peter H. Dreyer slide collection, Collection 9800.007, Boston City Archives.

Massachusetts’ State House was designed by Charles Bullfinch. He had designed the Connecticut State House two years prior.

The dome of the State House, pictured below, is one of its prominent features.

Dome of the Massachusetts State House, February 1974,  Peter H. Dreyer slide collection, Collection 9800.007, Boston City Archives
The dome was originally wooden, and leaked. In 1802, to prevent the leaking, the Paul Revere Copper Company covered the dome in copper.  In 1874, the dome was gilded with gold leaf. During World War II, it was painted to protect the City from bombing attacks. The dome was re-gilded in 1997 and still shines today!