|View of the State House’s Bulfinch building and the |
rear Bryant addition c.1880, prior to the construction
of the Brigham addition.
The State House Construction Commissioners were appointed in 1889 to oversee the project. In their 1892 report to the governor, they expressed concern with the repairs needed to the original building and felt that it made more financial sense to tear it down and construct a new one with the same materials used for the annex, especially since, they argued, the original structure would be so completely changed anyway as a result of adding the annex to the back of the building. No decision had been reached, and in their December 1893 report to the governor, as the annex, designed by architect Charles Brigham, reached completion, the Commissioners again stated:
The Commissioners feel it their duty to again suggest that the whole State House be made new. As we said in our report of 1892: “When the extension already authorized is completed, practically nothing of the old part will be left except the Doric Hall with its wings and the halls, rooms and dome above it. It is some hundred years old. Its outer walls and wooden finish will not be in keeping with what, while called an extension, will really be five-sixths of the whole building. The dome is of wood, subject to the impairment of age, and should be of iron. It is hardly possible that many years will pass before, in any event, this old and most conspicuous part, facing Beacon Street and the Common, will be made new and of equal quality with the rest. If so, it is to be considered whether this renovation cannot be made better and cheaper now, in conjunction with the work of the extension, than hereafter as a new enterprise. It is recognized, of course, that no change would ever be permitted in the now historic and always admirable contour and architectural effect of the State House; but we believe the time has come when the front should be rebuilt, preserving its present proportions, and rebuilt now, in connection with the extension.”
|View of the State House’s Bulfinch building and Brigham |
extension as it appeared in 1903.
- 1893 House No. 6, Report of the State House Construction Commissioners for 1892
- 1894 Senate No. 189, Views of a Minority of the Committee on State House on the Preservation of the State House
- 1894 House No. 6, Report of the State House Construction Commissioners
- 1894 House No. 76, Statement of the State House Construction Committee
- 1894 House No. 756, Views of a Minority of the Committee on State House on the Preservation of the State House
- Save the State House: the Memorial of a Century of Freedom (1894): F73.8.S8 F39 1894
- 1896 Senate No. 3, Report of State House Construction Commissioners (December, 1895)
- 1896 Chap. 531, An Act to Provide for the Security and Preservation of the So-called Bulfinch Portion of the State House