The US Capitol Building

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The US Capitol Building

Our nation's revolution was a great achievement in U.S History. With the dawn of a new nation, there would have to be a central location to make the new decisions of our country. Our capitol has stood as the heart of our country since the late 1700s. The United States capitol is among the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world. For almost two centuries it has housed the meeting chambers of the senate and the House of Representatives. Begun in 1793, the capitol building has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended, and restored. Today our capitol stands as a monument to the American people and their government. (

"Where to put a nation's capitol?" was the exact question that irritated George Washington and a man by the name of Pierre L'Enfant, city planner and engineer. "The District of Columbia is a perfect site; its in the middle of the 14 states, halfway between Massachusetts and Georgia," exclaimed Washington. Being near to the ocean so that many people can get to it easily. In 1790, Congress passed the "Residence Act," which provides that the federal government will be located in a permanent site on the Potomac River by 1800. Pierre Charles L'Enfant develops plan for capital city; he and President Washington select site for "Congress House" on Jenkins Heights. With a location chosen the only task now is to design the capitol building. (Prolman, 5)

"Five hundred dollars will be the reward for the architect who sets forth the plans for our nations new capitol building." Thomas Jefferson stated. He was also included in the long list of contestants who submitted thier construction designs. Three months after the contest ended, a man by the name of Dr .William Thorton submitted his designs of the capital. (Prolman, 5)

His design was a Neo-classical plan that followed the classical style of ancient Greece and Rome. He drew a building that consists of two wings that extended north and south of a centural section. A huge cast-iron dome rests on the central section of the building.(World, 196) President Washington was very pleased with Dr. Thorton's plans and he was awarded first prize. Now it was time for Washington to lay the cornerstone on September 18, 1793.(National Park)

Construction was a very labor intensive and time-consuming process. The sandstone...

... middle of paper ... about 10 million people come to visit this monument every year. Tours every thirty minutes of the capitol building are open from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. everyday. For recorded information regarding tours of the Capitol, call 202-225-6827. (

Since the building of Congress was built it has been through many stages. Being the meeting house for the bodies that govern our land of the free since 1793. The United States Capitol is one of the greatest structures in the world also serving as a symbol to the people of our nation. It will forever be the heart of our nation.(New Book, 420)


Aikman, Lowell. "US. Captol, Citidel of Democracy" The National Geographic; August, 1952:147-162

AOC.Gov- The United States Capitol,

National Park Science- US Capritol Building, Wed. May 17, 2000.

New Book of Knowledge, The. "Capitol,US" Deluxe Library Edition, copyright 1999, vol. 3Cp. 420

Prolman, Marilyn. The Story of the Capitol. copyright 1969, p. 5-9

World Book Encyclopedia, "Capitol, US" Vol. 3, Ch. C, Copyright 1996, p. 196
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