U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

Welcome to the U.S. Capitol

Due to a special event on Thursday, December 3, the Capitol Visitor Center will be closed until approximately 1:30 p.m. except for individuals on official business or visiting the House and Senate Galleries. Public tours of the Capitol will resume after the Visitor Center re-opens.

Proposed Design for the Capitol, by Samuel McIntire, 1792

In 1790 Congress passed the Residence Act, which authorized a new capital city to be located in a district on the Potomac River, not to exceed ten-square-miles. New federal buildings, including a Capitol, soon began to appear. While many of the entries in the Capitol’s design competition were clumsy and provincial, a few, such as McIntire’s submittal, were quite handsome. While the plan’s Roman-influenced style and impressive size were favorable to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, its lack of a dome doomed the design.

Maryland Historical Society

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