The Massachusetts State House is the capitol building of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the very heart of state government.

It is the second state house Massachusetts has had. You can still see the Old State House at the corner of State Street and Washington Street. It was built in 1712. Before the Revolution, it was the home of the Royal government of the colony of Massachusetts; after the Revolution it became the home of the government of the state of Massachusetts.

By 1795, twenty years after the Revolution, the citizens of Massachusetts decided that the old State House was too small.

To design a new, larger state house they chose Charles Bulfinch. He was a famous Boston architect who designed some of the most beautiful homes and churches in Boston, most of which are still in use today.

The Bulfinch State House was a dignified red brick building with white columns, topped by an impressive dome. It was built at the top of Beacon Hill looking out over all of the city, on land that had been John Hancock’s cow pasture.

It is still the central part of the State House today, but many rooms have been added.