The Architect of the Capitol
HomeAbout UsCapitol ComplexCapitol Visitor CenterProjectsBusiness CenterEmployement
Capitol Complex
  YOU ARE HERE>> Architect of the Capitol/Capitol Complex Overview
January 29, 2009
AOC Logo
Capitol Complex Overview
Print Version

The United States Capitol Complex is comprised of the Capitol, the House and Senate Office Buildings, the U.S. Botanic Garden, the Capitol Grounds, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court Building, the Capitol Power Plant, and various support facilities. In addition, work has now begun towards the construction of a new Capitol Visitor Center, an underground facility to be located beneath the Capitol's east front plaza.

In addition to the information listed below, a brief history of the Capitol Complex, an aerial photograph (50k), and a map (112k) are available.

The High-Resolution Photo Gallery section of this Web site offers downloadable high-quality digital images in JPEG format. These images are in the public domain and, unless otherwise noted, may be used without permission for educational, scholarly, or personal (i.e., nonpromotional, nonadvertising) purposes.

The Capitol is one of the most widely recognized buildings in the world. It is a symbol of the American people and their government, the meeting place of the nation's legislature, an art and history museum, and a tourist attraction visited by millions every year.
The Congressional Office Buildings
House of Representatives Office Buildings
The Cannon House Office Building
The Cannon Building, opened in 1908, is the oldest of the congressional office buildings.
The Longworth House Office Building
The Longworth Building was opened in 1933 to provide additional space.
The Rayburn House Office Building
The most modern of the House buildings, the Rayburn Building, was opened in 1965.

Over the years, two other buildings were acquired for office space by the House of Representatives. The Congressional Hotel on C Street, obtained in 1972, was subsequently named for former Speaker Thomas P. O'Neill, Jr.; it was demolished in 2002. In 1975 a building located at Second and D Streets originally built for the Federal Bureau of Investigation was acquired; it was subsequently named for former Minority Leader Gerald R. Ford.

Senate Office Buildings
The Russell Senate Office Building
The Russell Building, opened in 1909, is the oldest Senate Office Building.
The Dirksen Senate Office Building
The Dirksen Building was occupied in 1958.
The Hart Senate Office Building
The Hart Building, which adjoins the Dirksen Building, was opened in 1982.
The United States Botanic Garden
The United States Botanic Garden logo and photo of the premisis.
The United States Botanic Garden was established by the Congress in 1820 and is the oldest botanic garden in North America. It is a living plant museum dedicated to demonstrating the aesthetic, cultural, economic, therapeutic, and ecological importance of plants to the well-being of humankind.
Map of National Gardens complex
The National Garden, a new U.S. Botanic Garden facility that will be located on three acres west of the Conservatory site, will be a showcase for unusual, useful, and ornamental plants that grow well in the mid-Atlantic region. It will also provide "living laboratories" for environmental, horticultural, and botanical education....

Originally a wooded wilderness, the U.S. Capitol Grounds today provide a park-like setting for the Nation's Capitol, offering a picturesque counterpoint to the building's formal architecture.

The Library of Congress Buildings
The Thomas Jefferson Building
The Thomas Jefferson Building opened in 1897, allowing the Library to move out of its former location in the Capitol.
The John Adams Building
The 1935 John Adams Building provided much-needed space for the Library's growing collections.
The James Madison Memorial Building
In 1981 the James Madison Memorial Building opened; it houses administrative offices as well as several major collections.

For additional information about the Library of Congress buildings, please visit the "Jefferson's Legacy" page at the Library of Congress Web site.

The U.S. Supreme Court Building
The U.S. Supreme Court Building
The Supreme Court of the United States was housed in the Capitol from 1800 until 1935, when the Supreme Court Building opened.
The Capitol Power Plant
The Capitol Power Plant
The Capitol Power Plant began providing electricity in 1910; today, it provides steam for heating and chilled water for cooling buildings within the Capitol Complex.
Drawings of Capitol Visitor Center
The Capitol Visitor Center, which will be built underground adjacent to the Capitol's east front, will contain exhibits, orientation displays, theaters, and other facilities to make the visitor's experience in the Capitol more informative and meaningful. It will also make the U.S. Capitol more accessible and secure.
The Capitol Dome and the Capitol Rotunda Ceiling
The Capitol Dome (left) and the Capitol Rotunda Ceiling
Designed from the outset to house the United States Congress, the Capitol was a bold architectural experiment in a new nation. The building has been enlarged and modified over the years, and it contains some of the most important spaces in American history.
The Statue of Freedom and General George Washington Resigning His Commission...

The works of art in the Capitol Complex reflect the development of the United States and the Congress. They range from bronze and marble statues to oil portraits and frescoed murals. Their subjects include prominent Americans, important moments in history, and allegorical representations of the nation's ideals.


Architect of the Capitol · Feedback Form