History and Design
The Great Hall serves as a ceremonial space, an exhibition space, and a grand internal corridor linking Pemberton Square and Government Center to Ashburton Place and the Massachusetts State House on Beacon Hill. Albert Haberstroh, of the Boston firm of L. Haberstoh & Son, designed the mural decorations in the Great Hall.
Bands of classical coffers with rosettes demarcate the barrel vaulted ceiling of the Great Hall. The ceiling's central painted panel features the seal of the Commonwealth, which depicts a Native American holding an arrow pointed downward in a gesture of peace. A blue ribbon surrounding the figure contains the Latin phrase, "Ense petit placidam sub libertate quietam" ("By the sword we seek peace, but peace only under liberty").
Sculptor Domingo Mora
The Spanish sculptor, Domingo Mora (1840-1911), created sixteen life-sized allegorical figures for the Great Hall. Beginning with the figure closest to the North Elevator, these figures represent Law, Temperance, Prudence, Justice, Fortitude, Punishment, Guilt, Equity, Right, Innocence, Reward, Wisdom, Religion, Virtue, Reason, and Legislation.