Due to a special event, on Wednesday, July 8, there will be no tours of the U.S. Capitol after 11 a.m. Emancipation Hall and Exhibition Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center will be unavailable all day. While reservations prior to 11 a.m. will be honored, same-day passes will not be available. The Capitol Visitor Center will close at noon except for individuals on official business and those going to the House and Senate Galleries.

The Campus Grows Again

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 brought significant reforms in committee staffing and operations. These increased Congress’s need for hearing rooms and staff offices. Four new buildings helped to meet the demand: the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings (opened 1958 and 1982) and the Rayburn and Ford House Office Buildings (opened 1965 and acquired 1975).

The Library of Congress staff and collections also were expanding. Completed in 1981, the Madison Memorial Building (one of the world’s largest library structures) relieved space shortages and made possible the restoration of the Library’s Jefferson and Adams buildings. The underground Capitol Visitor Center, opened in 2008, covers about 580,000 square feet on three levels, giving Americans a more informative, comfortable, and secure way to visit their Capitol.

History of Congress and the Capitol

The Capitol 1945-Present

Next Image Next Image Previous Image Previous Image
“Preliminary Design for the...
Image Caption

“Preliminary Design for the Dirksen Senate Office Building,” by Eggars & Higgins, 1948

“Preliminary Design for the Dirksen Senate Office Building,” by Eggars & Higgins, 1948

Architect of the Capitol

“Preliminary Design for the Dirksen Senate Office Building,” by Eggars & Higgins, 1948

“Preliminary Design for the Dirksen Senate Office Building,” by Eggars & Higgins, 1948

Architect of the Capitol

Pages