The oldest state capitol that has stayed in continuous legislative use, Annapolis’ historic Maryland State House is the only one to ever serve as our country’s capitol. From November 26, 1783 to August 13, 1784 the Continental Congress held their sessions in the Old Senate Chamber while Annapolis was the temporary capitol of the United States. Annapolis was a candidate to be the nation’s permanent capitol before Washington, D.C. was selected.
During this period, George Washington addressed Congress and resigned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army. There was also the ratification of the Treaty of Paris, which officially concluded the Revolutionary War. Although not as familiar, Governor Thomas Sim Lee signed an act empowering delegates of Maryland in Congress to subscribe and ratify the Articles of Confederation, which was the last act of formation of the United States of America as a nation.
Open year-round to the public, exhibits regarding the above and other key events are a wonderful way to experience the unique history of the Maryland State House.
Governor Robert Eden laid the cornerstone for the third State House to be built on State Circle on March 28, 1772. The first had burnt down, and the second was razed because it was too small. Designed by architect Joseph Horatio Anderson, construction began in 1772, which was interrupted by the Revolutionary War, and was completed in 1779. Its graceful, remarkable wooden dome is the oldest and largest in the U.S. and may have been inspired by the Schlossturm of Karlsruhe, Germany. In 1960, the Maryland State House was named a National Historic Landmark by the Department of Interior.
Works of Art
Along with its ornate structure, several notable works of art contribute to the beauty of its interior. There are two citizens of Maryland featured in statues: Charles Carroll, a signer of the Declaration of Independence who was the lone Catholic and John Hanson, the first president by the Articles of Confederation. Hanging on the walls are four paintings of signers of the Declaration of Independence who were from Maryland: Charles Carroll, Samuel Chase, William Paca, and Thomas Stone.
Visiting the State House
The State House is open every day from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., except for Christmas and New Year’s Day. For more information, download:
Maryland State House Self Guide
An Inn Near the State House
Located on 100 State Circle, the Maryland State House is less than half a mile away from Gibson’s Lodgings, a historic inn located in downtown Annapolis. Call us to reserve your Inn room at our toll free number 877-330-0057. We’ll be very happy to serve you and your family throughout the year.