State House Coal Pocket

Beacon Street
Boston, Mass.

Year Built: 1901

In 1901, Charles Brigham designed a coal bin on the eastern side of the State House property that held 5,000 tons of coal. This enormous structure is located at the northerly edge of the Devens Arch and extended 125 feet, almost all the way to Bowdoin Street. Its width extended 85 feet toward Dearn Street. Internally, the pocket was 20 feet tall at one end and 14 feet tall at the other. The pocket was connected with the State House Boiler room by means of a subway.

The underground structure was made of brick but had 12 openings along Bowdoin Street and the former Mount Vernon Street (now the area adjacent to the Brigham-designed State House Extension). The underground structure was likely very utilitarian but the openings likely had more interesting architectural details.

The coal pocket was intended to save the Commonwealth money and reduce the nuisance of regular deliveries of coal that was used to heat the large complex.


• Boston Globe, Monster Coal Pocket on Beacon Hill, October 19, 1901, p. 5

• Boston Globe, Proposals of Masons’ Work, July 19, 1901, p. 11


Courtesy, Boston Globe, October 19, 1901, p. 5.

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