Designed by Charles Bulfinch, the State House was completed on January 11, 1798, and widely acclaimed as one of the more magnificent and well-suited buildings in the country. The land for the building was originally used as John Hancock's cow pasture. The State House's golden dome, its most distinct feature, once made of wood was later overlaid with copper by Paul Revere. It was covered with 23 karat gold leaf for the first time in 1874 and painted black during World War II to protect the city from bombing attacks. The State House dome was most recently gilded in 1997.


Today, the State House is one of the oldest buildings on Beacon Hill, and its grounds cover 6.7 acres of land. It is under the golden dome that senators, state representatives, and the governor conduct the daily business of the Commonwealth.

This building is known to the people of Boston as the new State House, in order to differentiate it from the Old State House located on the corner of State and Congress streets. A gilded wooden pinecone adorns the top of the golden dome, a symbol of the state's reliance on logging in the 18th century. Although located on the Freedom Trail, in depth Massachusetts State House Tours are available to the public.