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Government Buildings:
The U.S. Capitol

The U.S. Capitol's Dome The House of Representatives The U.S. Senate Statue of Freedom
Click on a thumbnail for a larger image.

Built on a hill popularly called Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, the U.S. Capitol has been the home of the House of Representatives and the Senate since 1800.

In March 1792, a design contest was announced to design the U.S. Capitol. All of the 16 plans submitted were rejected. A late entry by William Thornton, amateur architect from the British West Indies, was accepted in fall 1792. President Washington liked it because of its "grandeur, simplicity and convenience."

The iron dome, also white, is surmounted by a statue of a woman representing Freedom, by the American sculptor Thomas Crawford. The height of the Capitol from the baseline on the east front to the top of the statue is 287.5 ft (87.6 m).

Take a virtual tour of the U.S. Capitol from the U.S. Senate. You can learn more about the history of the Capitol from the Architect of the Capitol.