Lying in State of Congressman Elijah E. Cummings

The public is invited to pay their respects to Representative Elijah E. Cummings Thursday, October 24 from 1 p.m. until 7 p.m. Please enter through the Capitol Visitor Center.

On Thursday, October 24, the Capitol Visitor Center will be closed for normal operations, and all Capitol tours are cancelled.

On Wednesday, October 23, the second floor of the Capitol will be closed to the public. The Capitol Visitor Center will offer modified tours of the Capitol.

If you have a tour reservation and would like to reschedule, please click here or contact the Visitor Services Office at (202)226-8000.

On Friday, October 25, the Capitol Visitor Center will reopen for normal operations and Capitol tours at 8:30 a.m.

The Capitol Dome

Domes soar to great heights and span vast spaces–their inspiring form is reserved for society’s greatest buildings.

The Capitol’s iron dome, an instantly recognizable American symbol, has long been admired for its majestic beauty and its ingenious engineering.

Designed by Thomas U. Walter, the dome was influenced by classical European domes, such as St. Paul’s in London, St. Isaac’s in St. Petersburg, and the Panthéon in Paris. Capt. Montgomery C. Meigs of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers supervised much of its construction. It was especially challenging to build because it replaced an existing wooden dome (completed by Charles Bulfinch in 1824), but re-used the old rotunda walls as foundations.

Technical difficulties were easy to overcome compared to those of the Civil War, which broke out just six years after the new dome was begun. When the contractors continued installing ironwork despite wartime conditions, President Abraham Lincoln viewed the rising dome as a sign that the Union would continue as well.