Massachusetts State House (Bulfinch portion)

Beacon Street
Boston, Mass.

Year Built: 1894

Brigham provided two sketches for the rebuilding of the Bulfinch portion of the Massachusetts State House, including the dome. An article from the Boston Globe from 1894 indicated,

“Charles Brigham will have ready, week after next, two perspective plans, one an exterior reproduction of the present front, a little wider, according to Bulfinch’s original idea, and with the present dome reproduced. The other the same with the dome higher and colonnaded . . . .”

The illustration above appears to be the drawing of the Bulfinch front with the higher and colonnaded dome.

Also, an 1896 report indicated,

“The committee on State house gave a hearing in the old Representatives hall last Tuesday on the proposed reconstruction of the Bulfinch front. Architect Charles Brigham exhibited the sketches and plans, showing the possible reproduction, which he had prepared at the request of the State House Commissioners. Mr. Brigham was asked about the cost of such reconstruction, and replied that he thought seventy-five cents per cubic foot would cover the expense of changing the dome, making a total for the front of $1,200,000. The annex had cost forty-seven and one half cents per cubic foot according to his estimate. Mr. Clement K. Fay asked Mr. Brigham if there was any reason, beyond mere sentiment, to restore the appearance and style of the front after tearing down the present structure. He replied he thought that there were strong architectural reasons. Prof. George F. Swain was asked if he favored repairing the front or constructing a new building. He favored the latter decidedly."

The rebuilding work of the Bulfinch front was never done.


• "Watertown News," Watertown Enterprise, March 6, 1896, p. 1.

• “Pencil Drawing of the State House Showing the Proposed Wings, May, 1896. State Library of Massachusetts, Special Collections.

• Boston Globe, “For a New Old State House,” February 2, 1894, p. 5.


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