The United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., is a symbol of the American people and our government and the meeting place of the nation's legislature, the U.S. Congress. The Capitol is a working office building, but it is also the place where visitors from around the United States and the world come to learn about American democracy.
Construction of the Capitol began in 1793. In November 1800, Congress, along with the Library of Congress and the Supreme Court, moved into the newly completed north wing. The south wing was completed by 1807, but in 1814, the British burned the Capitol during the War of 1812. What is now the center portion of the Capitol was completed in 1826.
As the country expanded, more states came into the union and more representatives and senators arrived at the Capitol to represent these new states and their constituents.
Beginning in the 1850s, the Capitol had to grow to make room for these new representatives and senators. The first major construction project extended both wings and enlarged the Capitol Dome. Later, both the West Front and the East Front of the Capitol were expanded, and in 2008, the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center was completed.
Other buildings on the Capitol Grounds include:
- Office buildings for the House of Representatives and the Senate
- The Botanic Garden and the Library of Congress
- The Supreme Court
The Architect of the Capitol is the steward of these landmark buildings and grounds.