Due to a special Joint Meeting of Congress taking place in the Capitol on Tuesday, March 3, the U.S. Capitol will be closed to tours until approximately 12:30 p.m. on that day. The Capitol Visitor Center will remain open throughout the day, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and guided tours of the Capitol Visitor Center will be available while the Capitol is closed.

"Design for an Enlargement of the US Capitol, Washington, DC," by Thomas U. Walter, watercolor on paper, 1850

Mon, 2013-02-18 16:14 -- administrator

Congress increased in membership as the country expanded during the 1800s, and by mid-century the building had become overcrowded. In response to a public invitation for enlargement ideas, Thomas U. Walter designed this vast addition intended to cover the Capitol's entire east facade. A vast new portico would have reused some of the original columns from the portico installed by architect Charles Bulfinch inthe 1820s.

Architect of the Capitol

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