Designed by the New York firm of McKim, Mead and White, the State House is sculpted from white Georgia marble and sits atop Smith Hill in downtown Providence. Construction started in 1895 and was completed in 1901. The General Assembly met in legislative session for the first time in the State House on January 1, 1901. Standing more than 278 feet above Smith Hill, the Independent Man has been a fixture of the State House since 1899. It is a bronze sculpture standing more than 11 feet tall and weighing more than 500 pounds. It is a symbol of freedom and independence. The Senate and House chambers are within the State House.