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The (Real) Gold Dome in Boston: Our State House

Boston State House gold dome
Mmm, that gold against the silver-blue-gray sky!

I will make you a $1 bet based on 28 years of experience.

If you are strolling with a new-to-Boston buddy (or a gal who runs a Boston blog), the moment you point to the Massachusetts State House dome and explain: “That dome is coated with real gold!” your companion will INEVITABLY spout out some version of the following:

“Let’s go scrape that gold off now and sell it for a million bucks!”

Perhaps you think I’m a daredevil for wagering money so foolishly, but let me tell you: not only did I exclaim this same sentence as a kid when I found out the dome’s ingredients, but I have now heard over thirty people do the same… including my entire 15-person ESL student field trip this summer!

There’s just something so tantalizingly luscious and just-out-of-reach about that hovering dome, licked from edge to edge with pure gold foil. Are you reaching toward the screen right now?

And thus I give you our fourth great Boston building: the Massachusetts State House.

Boston State House gold dome
The dome smiles upon the happy Boston Common

State houses are almost always impressive (Providence, Rhode Island, apparently blew its entire budget back in the day to create its frothy white confection), but my state’s has always been my favorite.

First, of course, there is the precious metal element.

But beyond this, there is the awesome location. The gold dome overlooks the lush green Boston Common, which is always packed with joyful folks frolicking. It all feels very “Government of the people”-ish, with the people in power snuggled up close to such an important and free public space. We see them and they see us!

I challenge you to walk through the Common without stealing a lustful glance in the dome’s direction. That combo of green and gold is a regal sight, and it’s hard to resist!

So why did I choose this famous building for today?

Because today I am moving into my first ever solo apartment, and this apartment is just a ten minute walk from the Common and the State House! The heart of Boston, baby!

gold dome boston
You know you wanna climb up there and snag some gold…

You can imagine my passionately excited imaginings right now, thinking about my new scene, as I dance around to Shakira and scrub my new kitchen!

On a historical note, not only is this my first solo apartment, but this also marks the first time in my life that I am attempting to move using actual luggage rather than my classy previous preference of multiple garbage bags.

What’s next: getting an actual toothbrush travel case instead of creating a toothbrush burrito with paper towels?! Madness! It’s a thrilling and strange new world emerging here. Stay tuned!

For more great architecture, click here.


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Mohamed Abdelrahim

Friday 29th of October 2010

Is the Dome on the top really made of solid Gold? If it is that's awesome. What's inside the building? Who lives there?

Qiyin Y.

Friday 15th of June 2012

No, the dome is not made of solid gold. It is just plated on the exterior of the dome and the state house is the workplace of senators, representatives, the governor and office workers. I don't think there is anyone living there.


Wednesday 27th of October 2010

I also have remembered those beautiful friezes on the top of the state house.*


Wednesday 27th of October 2010

I have been here before! It is fabulous. I have learned that this state house has been Greek influenced with the colomns, i also have remembered those beautiful friezes on the top of the state house.

Genesis Lumahan

Saturday 23rd of October 2010

The State House somewhat reminds me of the Taj Mahal, both beautiful buildings! I remember taking the Duck Tours with my cousin who was from New Jersey, she was amazed by the State House. She got a very good quality picture of it on her phone and even made it her background.


Monday 4th of October 2010

Boston is so much prettier than I imagined.


Monday 4th of October 2010

Indeed, Boston is gorgeous! And so walkable, too.

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