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Ehud Olmert

Hidden Maryland: State House dome

Hidden Maryland: State House dome

A two-inch-thick steel door secured by a padlock hides an exclusive gem of Maryland history.

Only 10 people have keys. Nine of them work to protect the governor.

Behind that door, more than 140 narrow wooden steps wind upward to a spectaular vista that has been enjoyed by former U.S. presidents, Maryland’s contemporary political elite and the scores of workers who used 18th century technology to hoist massive beams nearly 200 feet in the air to build the dome of the Maryland State House.

The iconic Annapolis landmark -- the largest wooden dome in the country -- has dominated the city's skyline for more than 200 years. But to visit it, you must be somebody or know...