Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Maryland State House
The Maryland State House, located in Annapolis, Maryland, is the meeting place of the Maryland General Assembly, the state's legislature. Begun in 1772, it is the oldest state house in continuous legislative use in the United States and it is topped by the largest wooden dome built without nails in the nation. The current building, which was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1968, is the third state house to stand on the site.
From November 26, 1783 to June 3, 1784, Annapolis served as the United States capital and the Continental Congress met in the Maryland state house. (Annapolis was a candidate to become the new nation's permanent capital before Washington, D.C. was built). It was in the old senate chamber that George Washington famously resigned his commission as commander in chief of the Continental Army on December 23, 1783. It was also there that the Treaty of Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War, was ratified by Congress on January 14, 1784.
Though construction began in 1772, due to the Revolutionary War, the structure was not completed until 1779. The state house was designed by Joseph Horatio Anderson, a noted architect of the time, and the large dome is topped by a lightning rod  that was constructed and grounded to Benjamin Franklin's specifications
The State House is administered by the State House Trust, which was created in 1969 and is currently chaired by Lt. Gov. Michael Steele. The dome of the statehouse is depicted on the Maryland quarter.
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