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State House Information
Getting to the State House
The State House is located on the top of Boston's Beacon Hill, near the Boston Common and the Park Street T station. Click the "B" below for customized directions, whether driving or taking public transportation.
Entrances to the State House
The State House has three public entrances:
1. Beacon Street/Hooker Statue Entrance
This is the main and only entrance to the State House on Beacon Street. Facing the State House, it is to the right. It is not wheelchair accessible.
2. Bowdoin Street Entrance (wheelchair accessible)
Bowdoin Street runs perpendicular to Beacon Street and is to the right as you face the State House. This entrance does not have much space inside or outside the building, but it is accessible.
3. Ashburton Park Entrance (wheelchair accessible)
The entrance is on Bowdoin Street, beyond the first entrance. This entrance has more space both outside and inside the State House, however, construction in the area requires that you walk on the right-side sidewalk and cross back to enter.
Security is present at all three entrances. To pass reasonably quickly through security, it would be best to have no loose change, keys or metal objects in your pockets. Pocketbooks, backpacks will be x-rayed.
Navigating the State House
Completed in 1798, the Massachusetts State House is the oldest building on Beacon Hill and arguably the city’s most magnificent. (Its dome dominated the Boston skyline until the advent of the skyscraper.)
That said, the State House can also be one of the most challenging to navigate for visitors and advocates trying to find the offices of one of the 160 state representatives, 40 senators or the governor. Even people who walk the halls regularly find themselves frustrated and confused.
There are several basics that can make all the difference:
- Senators’ offices are almost exclusively on the East Wing of the building. (Delivering materials for the entire Senate is relatively easy by using the stairwell from the basement to the fifth floor at the far end of the East Wing.)
- The 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th floors are relatively easy to navigate. These floors are not “split” (see below).
- The 1st floor and Basement are where it gets tricky, for a couple reasons:
Visiting all the offices on the 1st floor or Basement in one shot is impossible since the building is split on those levels. For example, if you are on the 1st floor, you are either in the part of the building with rooms 120-155 or the part of the building with rooms 100-119 and 156-195. (Yes, it’s doubly exasperating that the split isn’t even in numerical order!) In the Basement, the split is more logical, rooms 14-45 in one section, 46-74 in the other.
If you find yourself stuck in one section and needing to get to the other, you must do the following: Go up to at least the 2nd floor (the 3rd, 4th or 5th will work as well), cross over to the other side of the building, and go back down.