A few years ago we were in Maryland and was able to catch a couple of games at Camden Yards, visit Fort McHenry, as well as tour the Maryland State Capitol. More formally known as the Maryland State House. Whatever they call it, I call it beautiful. Not only was the architecture of Capitol beautiful, the grounds were also amazing. We had a great time walking around and taking in it’s history.
Speaking of history, there is a lot of it in the Maryland State House. Actually they are proud to say they have four centuries of history. The Old Treasury Building is also on the grounds. Built in 1735 and is the oldest public building in Annapolis. Pretty impressive.
Apparently they suggest you check out the archives room with brochures and exhibits. We only grabbed a flyer and made our way to the Rotunda. Built between 1772 and 1779, It is the center of the Maryland State House. Later the dome was added between 1785 and 1794. An interesting note, the dome is the largest wooden dome in North America. It was built entirely without nails. How’d they do that? lol
The highlight of the tour for me is always the House of Representatives and the Senate Chambers. This one was especially cool as the Senate Chambers features portraits of Maryland’s four signers of the Declaration of Independence. What I typically call the House of Representatives, in Maryland, is called the House of Delegates. They also had portraits of former speakers of the House, arranged in chronological order in this room.
Some of the other rooms you can check out are the Old Senate Chamber, Old House of Delegates, Senate Committee Room, Stairwell Room, and the State House Caucus Room. They were all interesting but we didn’t really have as much time as I would have liked. We were running late as usual and they were getting ready to close for the day. 🙁 I hope to get back one day and do some more exploring.
I couldn’t end this post without a few more fun facts about the Maryland State House. It was America’s first peacetime capitol. Today it is the oldest state house in America still in continuous legislative use. In 1960 it was declared a National Historic Landmark. It was the first state house in the nation to win such designation.
For those interested in touring the Maryland State House, here is a little bit of helpful information. The State House is open every day from 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., except Christmas and New Years Day. Self-guided tour information is available in the Office of Interpretation on the first floor. Phone #’s 410-946-5400/ 301-970-5400 or 1-800-492-7122 ext 5400.
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