The New Hampshire State House, located in Concord, is the oldest State House in the nation in which the legislature retains its original chambers. This awe-inspiring, historic building symbolizes the unique democratic traditions of the state. The construction work started in 1816, with the dubious distinction that New Hampshire was the only state without a State House. In 1818, a huge gold-plated wooden eagle was raised to the top of the dome. With the availability of high quality local granite and prison inmate manpower, it took only three years to complete the work. The first session of legislature was held in 1819. Some modifications were made in 1865 and 1909. Each time the city of Manchester favored a move of the State House from Concord to Manchester, Concord fought off the challenges and retained the legislature. A memorial arch commemorating New Hampshire military personnel who died fighting for the country, is seen at the entrance. There also is a full-size replica of the Liberty Bell. Statues of political leaders, including Daniel Webster and President Franklin Pierce, also grace the grounds. The main lobby is graced with eight columns, marble floors, molded ceilings, and large brass chandeliers. In addition, impressive dioramas depicting the the Battle of Bunker Hill and of Bennington, the Hall of Flags, and portraits of leaders along the corridors, mark an extensive legacy of rich political tradition. The State House Visitors Center is open for guided and self-guided tours.