Built on land once used for John Hancock's cow pasture, Boston's Massachusetts State House is a symbol of American history with ties to founding fathers and Revolutionary War heroes. The first cornerstone was laid July 4, 1795, in a grand ceremony led by Gov. Samuel Adams accompanied by Paul Revere.
The golden dome, the building's most distinctive feature, once was made of wood and later overlaid with copper by Revere Copper Products Inc., Rome, N.Y., founded by Paul Revere in 1801. It was the first application of cold-rolled copper in North America. During World War II, the dome was painted black to prevent reflection during blackouts and protect the city and building from bombing attacks. In 1997, the dome was regilded in 23-karat gold. A wooden pinecone adorns the top of the golden dome as a symbol of the state's reliance on logging during the 18th century.
Currently, Massachusetts State House is one of the oldest buildings on Beacon Hill, and its grounds span two city blocks (6.7 acres). Under the golden dome, senators, state representatives and the governor conduct daily business of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. In addition to its fundamental functionality as a political hub, it is considered to be a living museum and one of the most important historical buildings in New England.