New Jersey 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, as well as offices for the Governor, Lieutenant Governor and several state government departments. The building is the closest capitol building to a state border of any state capitol, with the bridge to Pennsylvania being within walking distance a few blocks away.

The New Jersey State House is unusual among state capitol buildings in the United States, the majority of which are reminiscent of the US Capitol. The building consists of two parallel structures connected by the dome-capped rotunda, resembling the letter H, with its long arm parallel to State Street. A long portico wing, added by Notman and subsequently enlarged, extends west from the rotunda toward the Delaware River. To this portico, a number of architecturally dissimilar, unusually-shaped structures have been added. These structures have been the subject of subsequent renovations to blend them with 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, and is the side dominated by the various additions. Viewed from State Street, the dome is scarcely visible and there is little sense of the scale or design of the building. The Governor’s office occupies the remaining portion of the original 1792 State House.

Construction on the New Jersey State House began in 1792 and was completed in 1911. It was designated a U.S. Historic District Contributing Property on August 27, 1976.

Published by Gloria P. Humphrey

Gloria Humphrey is a authorprenuer, poet and historian.

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