VISITING THE STATE HOUSE

The New Jersey State House is located in Trenton and is the capitol building for the U.S. state of New Jersey. Built in 1790, it is the third-oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the United States; only the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis and the Virginia State Capitol in Richmond are older. The building houses both chambers of the Legislature (the Senate and the General Assembly), as well as offices for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and several state government departments.

After the Legislature relocated to Trenton from Perth Amboy in 1790, it purchased land for ₤250 and 5 shillings. Construction on the new state house, designed by Philadelphia-based architect Jonathan Doane, began in 1792. On March 21, 1885, a large fire destroyed the State Street wing. Lewis Broome, of Jersey City led the reconstruction of the building. He used a rare pigmented brick from the Lippincott Brick Co. of Farmingdale. The brick used was a one-of-a-kind color for the region.

Merchantville architect Arnold Moses reconstructed the Senate wing in the American Renaissance style.

The New Jersey State House attained its current size in 1911 when a four-story office block replaced the original 1792 structure. The only major change since has been modernization of the main corridor in 1950. A 1960 plan, called for the replacement of the oldest sections of the structure with modern legislative chambers, however it was never implemented.

Tours are offered daily Monday through Saturday, except state holidays. The tours typically include the Senate and Assembly chambers galleries, party conference rooms, the rotunda and Governor’s Office reception room.

 

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