About the State House
Drawings of the State House by Charles Willson Peale, 1787, showing colors of building and the dome. MSA SC 1051
Construction of the State House, which was designed by Joseph Horatio Anderson, was begun in 1772, delayed by the outbreak of the American Revolution, and completed in 1779. The present dome, which replaced an earlier cupola, was designed by the noted colonial architect Joseph Clark and was completed in 1794. It is the oldest and largest wooden dome of its kind in the United States. These two drawings by Charles Willson Peale indicate the original colors of the building and the dome.
The Maryland State House was the first peacetime capitol of the United States and is the only state house ever to have served as the nation's capitol. The Continental Congress met in the Old Senate Chamber from November 26, 1783, to August 13, 1784. During that time, General George Washington came before the Congress to resign his commission as Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army and the Treaty of Paris was ratified, marking the official end of the Revolutionary War.
The interior of the original section of the State House is constructed of wood and plaster. The newer colonial revival section, which was designed by Francis Baldwin and Josiah Pennington and added between 1902 and 1906, has matched veined Italian marble walls and columns. A broad black line across the columned lobby marks the line between the two sections. The Maryland State House was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior in 1960.
Fact Sheet about the State House and its dome.
The State House Dome. Historic American Buildings Survey, 1985. MSA SC 1173