July 14, 2022

The New Jersey State House is under renovation and we were unable to see many features. [Spoiler alert: There are no photos of the rotunda.]

The original portion of New Jersey’s State House was constructed in 1792. Major additions were made in 1845 and 1865. After a fire in 1885, a new rotunda and dome were built. The Assembly wing was replaced in 1891 in late Victorian style and the Senate wing was reconstructed in 1903 in American Renaissance style. Renovations which are underway now are expected to be complete in 2023.

The dome and several exterior walls of the State House are surrounded by scaffolding.

New Jersey’s legislature holds about 50 sessions a year, typically on Mondays and Thursdays. Members confer by party prior to voting sessions. Conferences are not open to the public.

The first session was held in the General Assembly chambers in 1892. The General Assembly has 80 members each of whom serves for a two-year term.
The General Assembly chamber features white Italian marble, carved oak woodwork, gold leaf, and a carpet featuring New Jersey symbols: Eastern goldfinch, violets, red oak, and the honeybee.
Rostrum of the Speaker of the General Assembly
The Edison Electric Company installed the chandelier in the General Assembly chamber in 1891. It has 66 bulbs, weighs 1,240 pounds and was designed to showcase this new invention.
New Jersey’s state seal was designed in 1777 by Pierre Eugene du Smitiere and shows a horse’s head for strength and commerce, a helmet for independence, the figures of Liberty and Prosperity, and plows on a shield for New Jersey’s agricultural history.
Plaster and gold leaf in the General Assembly chamber
Clock over the Rostrum in the General Assembly chamber
Skylight in the General Assembly chamber
The Senate chamber was completed in 1903. The Senate has 40 members each of whom serves a four-year term.
The Senate chamber features scagliola (plaster designed to look like marble) and Corinthian columns.
Rostrum in the Senate chamber where the Senate president presides
The stained-glass skylight in the Senate chamber contains names of New Jerseyans who contributed to the history of the state.
Murals around the ceiling of the Senate chamber depict industries that made New Jersey prosperous and Revolutionary War engagements that helped make New Jersey free.
Lighting fixture in the Senate featuring Edison’s new lightbulb
Door with scagliola and columns in the Senate chamber
This room was originally a courtroom and now hosts committee meetings.
The Senate Committee Room has been made from the old State Library.
Skylight in Senate Committee room
Table in Senate Committee room
Podium in Senate Committee room with our tour guide.
“New Jersey: A 360° View” by Kenneth J Leap in 1995 features 48 panels of mouth-blown German glass, hand-painted and kiln-fired.
Detail of “New Jersey: A 360° View”
“The Glory of new Jersey” is a sculpture created in 1991 by the Boehm Porcelain Company of Trenton. It is three feet high and weighs 75 pounds. 12 artists hand-made its 326 individual parts.
Eastern oriole, red oak leaves, and bumblebee, New Jersey’s state bird, tree and insect.
The New Jersey state seal was standardized in 1928 to show Liberty on the left with a freedom cap.
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