A painting showing the destroyed Capitol Building during the War of 1812
A painting showing the destroyed Capitol Building during the War of 1812
 
 
The Capitol Building in 1846
The Capitol Building in 1846
 
 
Putting a new dome on top of the Capitol Building
Putting a new dome on top of the Capitol Building
 
 
The Capitol Building as it looks today
The Capitol Building as it looks today
 
 
Close-up of the statue, Freedom, on top of the Capitol Dome
Close-up of the statue, Freedom, on top of the Capitol Dome
 
 
Inside the Capitol Building looking up at the dome
Inside the Capitol Building looking up at the dome
 
 
The subway for Senators and Representatives
The subway for Senators and Representatives
 
Capitol Building
Topic(s):   American Symbols, Landmarks
Quick Facts
Location: Washington, D.C.
Country: United States
Year(s) built first building - 1793 to 1800; second building - 1815 to 1826; improvements are ongoing
Designed by: William Thornton (original plan), Stephen Hallet, James Hoban, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, Charles Bulfinch
Purpose: the home of the American government

The Capitol building was started in 1793. People have been working on it ever since.

The United States Congress decided to move to Washington D.C. in 1790. They had a design contest for the Capitol building. None of the entries were good enough. William Thornton turned his design in late. It was chosen!

Many changes were made in the design. Congress moved in to its new home in 1800. During the War of 1812, the British army burned the building. A new building was built. More changes were made. This time it had a dome.

By 1850, the building was too small. Two new wings were added. The small dome looked funny on such a big building. The present dome was added. It is made of cast iron. It weighs over eight million pounds. On top is the Statue of Freedom.

Since then, the Capitol has been enlarged and fixed up many times. It was made fireproof. Electricity and modern plumbing were added. The Supreme Court and Library of Congress moved out. (They have their own buildings, now.) Rooms have been added, moved, and remodeled. Repairs have been made. An underground railroad was added to help members of Congress.

There have been a few shootings at the Capitol. There was even a bomb. The Visitor Center was added under the Capitol in 2008. It helps to make security tighter. It also makes it more pleasant to visit the Capitol building. Three to five million people visit each year.

Resource information

Architect of the Capitol. Capitol Campus--United Stated Capitol. Retrieved from http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/capitol_chron.cfm

Architect of the Capitol. The United Stated Capitol. Retrieved from http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/index.cfm

U.S. Government Printing Office. (2012). Government Buildings: The U.S. Capitol. Retrieved fom http://bensguide.gpo.gov/3-5/symbols/capitol.html

Citation information

APA Style: Capitol Building. (2013, August). Retrieved from Facts4Me at http://www.facts4me.com

MLA Style: "Capitol Building." Facts4Me. Aug. 2013. http://www.facts4me.com.

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