United States Capitol Facts

Introduction

The United States Capitol is the house of the Congress of the United States. It is located near the Potomac River and is the oldest and most iconic building in Washington D.C., with a neoclassical design. 

The United States Capitol is where the United States Congress does its work. It is the headquarters of the legislative branch of government. That is where all those hearings you see on T.V. takes place. The distance from the U.S. capitol to the White House is about 2 miles.

Here you will learn more about the United States Capitol, including how old it is, when it was constructed and more.

16 Facts About The U.S. Capitol Building

1. Construction started on September 18, 1793, and was completed in 1800.

2. 14 years later. The British burned the building in 1814 following the war of 1812.

3. William Thornton designed the building and was approved by both George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

4. With well over 540 rooms, the Capitol building is massive!

5. The building is now over 200 years old.

6. Like the White House or Buckingham Palace in London, UK, the U.S. Capitol building sustained a lot of damage caused by fire on August 24, 1814, during the war of 1812 against Great Britain.

7. The Capitol building has gone throw several expansions to accommodate the growing number of Senators, Congressmen/women and their staff.

8. The statue that sits proudly at the top of the Dome has a name: the Statue of Freedom.

9. George Washington is portrayed as a deity inside the painting within the Dome.

10. George Washington was almost buried under the capital building in a secluded area called Crypt. But his will specifically stated Mt. Vernon, and so Mt. Vernon it was.

11. The Capitol building used to be the tallest in Washington D.C., and a law in 1899 specifically said that the building could be taller. However, the law was rescinded in 1910.

12. Some elevators are ONLY RESERVED for Senators at all times – no one else is allowed to use them.

13. The building has private underground subways to get Senators and staff around the building.

14. Speaking of underground, the Capitol building has a lot of underground tunnels.

15. The House of Representatives Chamber has 448 permanent seats.

16. The National Statuary Hall is a beautiful large hall that attracts many tourists.

 

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