New Jersey State House
|New Jersey State House|
West side of the State House
|Architectural style||American Renaissance|
|Location||125 West State Street
Trenton, New Jersey
|Client||State of New Jersey|
|Owner||State of New Jersey|
|Design and construction|
|Architect||Jonathon Doane (1792), John Notman (1845), Samuel Sloan (1871), Lewis Broome (1889)|
|Designated:||September 14, 1977|
|Part of:||State House Historic District|
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 second-oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the United States; only the Maryland State Capitol in Annapolis is older. The building is currently home to both chambers of the New Jersey Legislature (the New Jersey Senate and the New Jersey General Assembly), as well as offices for the Governor of New Jersey, Lieutenant Governor of New Jersey and several state government departments.
After the New Jersey Legislature was relocated to Trenton from Perth Amboy in 1790, land was bought for 250 pounds, 5 shillings and a new state house was constructed in 1792 by Philadelphia-based architect Jonathan Doane. The building designed by Doane was covered in stucco, housed the senate and house chambers on either side, and measured 150 by 50 feet. Subsequent additions were made to the building during the 19th century (including 65 ft, and 95 ft a few years later. Architects who contributed to the New Jersey State House during the 19th century include John Notman (1845 created office wing on North side) who was a Philadelphia architect and Samuel Sloan (1871 designed new wings) who was also a Philadelphia architect. On March 21, 1885, a large fire caused the destruction of the State Street wing. Lewis Broome, from Jersey City helped to redesign the building.
The New Jersey State House attained its present size in 1911 and has not been changed significantly other than by modernization of the main corridor in 1950. Some of the old sections were left, but not all. A 1960 plan, calling for the replacement of the oldest sections of the State House with modern legislative chambers, was never implemented.
A renovation project was begun in 1987. The project helped to restore the legislative section of the building. It also worked on several deficiencies of the building. They also worked on saving what they could on the old parts (the ones that were still left from the fire).
The New Jersey State House is unusual among state capitol buildings in the United States, the majority of which are reminiscent of the United States Capitol Building. The building is shaped like a sideways H, with a golden dome over the cross-bar of the H and with a long wing extending westward towards the Delaware River. To the rear of the building, a number of architecturally dissimilar, unusually-shaped additions have been added, which were later subject to attempts at renovation in order to match the style of the original wing. The State House is set not on a park-like campus, as are many state houses, rather it is integrated into an urban setting along historic State Street and is surrounded by other legislative buildings. The most scenic view of the building is from the west, near the Delaware River, which is the side dominated by the various additions. Viewed from the front on State Street, the dome is scarcely visible and there is little sense of the scale or design of the building. The current Office of the Governor section in the complex occupies the remaining portion of the original 1792 State House.
Tours are offered daily Monday through Saturday, except state holidays. The tours typically include the Senate and Assembly chamber galleries, party conference rooms, the rotunda and Governor's Office reception room.
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