Maine State House

Augusta, Maine
The Maine State House, a magnificent architectural gem, stands proudly in the heart of Augusta, Maine, serving as the seat of government for the state.
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About This Location

The Maine State House, a magnificent architectural gem, stands proudly in the heart of Augusta, Maine, serving as the seat of government for the state. Its rich history and stately presence make it a cherished symbol of Maine’s heritage and governance.

Completed in 1832, just one year after Augusta was designated as Maine’s capital, the Maine State House pays homage to the grandeur of its counterpart, the Massachusetts State House. This distinguished structure is crafted from enduring Maine granite. Notably, Maine was formerly a part of Massachusetts until 1820, when it gained its status as an independent state.

Throughout its history, the interior of the Capitol building has undergone several transformations. In 1852 and again in 1860, renovations were carried out to accommodate the growing number of state departments. A significant expansion took place between 1890 and 1891, resulting in the addition of a substantial three-story wing at the rear of the building. This expansion allowed for the inclusion of the State Library and provided additional office space for various departments.

However, the most extensive renovation occurred between 1909 and 1910, under the guidance of architect G. Henri Desmond. During this period, the Capitol underwent a comprehensive transformation, resulting in its current appearance. While the majestic Bulfinch front was preserved, nearly all existing structures were demolished, except for the front and back walls. The building’s length was extended to 300 feet, with new north and south wings added to the structure. A notable feature introduced during this renovation was the installation of a brand-new dome in 1910.

In 2014, recognizing the need for preservation, the Maine Legislature’s Legislative Council approved the replacement of the dome’s copper sheath. The original sheath, installed during the 1909-1910 renovations, had surpassed its intended 75-year lifespan. Years of hail damage and corrosion had left the copper surface pockmarked, with some holes as large as a penny. The eight-month restoration effort commenced in March 2014 and concluded in October 2014. The restored dome, while retaining its iconic appearance, presented a new hue, which would gradually weather and oxidize back to its characteristic green color over the course of approximately 35 years.

The Maine State House warmly welcomes visitors year-round, offering public access from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday. Guided tours, conducted hourly between 9:00 a.m. and noon, provide a deeper understanding of the State House’s history and significance. Group visits can also be arranged through the Maine State Museum. The Maine State House, a testament to the state’s enduring legacy and democratic ideals, received well-deserved recognition when it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It’s reference number is 73000266.

Location

Address: 210 State Street, Augusta, Maine
Place GPS Coordinates: 44.307172, -69.781601
Parking GPS Coordinates: 44.307172, -69.781601
Parking Notes: Free public parking can be found in front of the Cross Office Building located off Sewall Street. The State Office Building Parking Garage is another great option, which is free too.

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