The Massachusetts State House was built between 1795 and 1797 on Beacon Hill and overlooks the Boston Common. The site, a pasture owned by John Hancock was lowered 50 ft (15 m) for the construction of the State House. .

The large gilded dome is topped with a lantern and pinecone, symbol of the forests of Massachusetts. The dome was originally made of wood shingles. These were replaced in 1802 with copper.
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In 1861, the dome was gilded and this remained so ever since, except during the Second World War, when it was painted black. In 1895 the State House was expanded with a large, yellow-colored annex, and in 1917 marble wings were added. (aviewoncities.com) .

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