On Tuesday, February 3, due to a special event being held in Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center, there will be no public tours of the Capitol. The Capitol Visitor Center will be closed all day except for individuals on official business and people going to the House and Senate Visitor Galleries.

Repairing and Remodeling

A building’s most basic job is to provide shelter. That role seemed in jeopardy in 1938. Structural analysis showed that the 80-year-old roofs over the House and Senate wings were no longer safe. Congress allocated repair funds in 1940, but the demands of the war effort and a steel shortage at home held up the project for nearly a decade.

By the end of World War II, the scope of work had expanded to include installing new ceilings over the House and Senate Chambers plus a change in decor. Congress decided to exchange the out-of-fashion Victorian decorations with a Colonial Revival or “early Federal” look. Material shortages delayed the first phase of remodeling until 1949 and 1950, when the roofs were replaced.