Senate Reception Room

(Third Floor)

In 1812 membership in the House of Representatives swelled to an incredible 749. Grandstand seating was required to seat them all.

Some of the engaged columns in the Senate Reception Room (those embedded in the wall) filled in the spaces left when fireplaces were removed following the installation of central heating in the 1860s.

The face of the State House has changed with fashion. The original red brick was painted white in 1825, yellow in the mid-1800's to match a new addition, and white again in 1917. When most of the other historic buildings in Boston had been restored to their natural brick hue, the State House finally followed suit in 1927.

Floorplan of the State House
Picture of the interior of the Senate Reception Room

Located in the Bulfinch Front, what is now the Senate Reception Room originally served as the Senate Chamber. Following the completion of the Brigham addition of 1895 the Senate moved across the hall to the former House of Representatives, and the House relocated to its present chamber.

Most of the elegant Bulfinch features may still be seen here. The four Ionic columns supporting the barrel-vaulted ceiling are the only original columns standing in the Bulfinch Front today. Each was carved from a single pine tree.

The paintings lining the walls of the Reception Room portray some of the former Senate presidents, including Calvin Coolidge and Horace Mann. This room is now used for conferences and occasional receptions.