13 Interesting Facts About The United States Capitol

Established in 1800, the United States Capitol stands on the Capitol Hill in Washington. It is the house of the United States Congress. Since it’s built, it has undergone a lot, many incidents of fire, renovation, and expansion. Multiple constructions have given the U.S. Capitol an iconic look. The building is counted as architecturally the most significant construction of the United States. The State Capitol building has many mysterious things that one can’t dream of. Go on and explore some amazing and interesting facts about the Capitol Building:

United States Capitol Building
United States Capitol Building
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1. The Competition To Submit The Plan!

Dr. William Thornton
Portrait of Dr. William Thornton

L’Enfant was the first one to design the U.S. Capitol Building. But, he refused to produce any drawings for the same. This became the reason for his dismissal and the commissioners had no choice but to keep a competition for the submission of the building’s plan. Out of the 17 plans submitted, none met up to the satisfaction of the commissioners. In October, a letter came from Dr. William Thornton, the one who was finally selected for the U.S. Capitol’s building.
source: aoc.gov, image: uschs.files.wordpress.com

2. A Subway Of Its Own!

US Capitol Hill Subway System Underground Senate Russell Senate Office Building
US Capitol Hill Subway System Underground Senate Russell Senate Office Building

The United States Capitol has a subway of its own. Mostly, politicians from House and Senate office buildings are seen visiting it.
source: mentalfloss.com, image: untappedcities-wpengine.netdna-ssl.com

3. Is Anyone Buried Inside?

Crypt beneath Capitol
Crypt beneath Capitol

This fact is not much known to people unless they visit the Capitol building themselves and discover it. There is one crypt built in the center of the building which was created to store the remains of President George Washington and Martha Washington. But, some reason went to a change in this decision. President George’s will specify that he wished to be buried at his home at Mount Vernon, but it still remains empty to honor the wish of the President.
source: washingtondcmetroarea.blogspot.in, image: drpence.files.wordpress.com

4. 11 Architects In Total!

Thomas U Walter
Thomas U Walter

The United States Capitol saw different construction phases. The building has contributions of 11 Architects during different phases of its construction. The original plan for the Capitol Building was crafted by Dr. William Thornton and the new dome on it was later designed by Thomas U. Walter.
source: justfunfacts.com, image: Wikimedia.org

5. Who Laid The Cornerstone?

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President Washington laid the cornerstone of the U.S. Capitol in the building’s southeast corner on September 18, 1793.
source: justfunfacts.com

6. Marble Bathtubs!

Marble Bathtub in Capitol
Marble Bathtub in Capitol

The U.S. Capitol has marble bathtubs in the basement where the members of Congress used to take baths back in the 19th century. These were made as most of the members of Congress lived in boarding houses with no running water.
source: washingtondcmetroarea.blogspot.in, image: Flickr

7. The Statue Of Freedom

Statue of Freedom
Statue of Freedom

The bronze statue standing at the top of the Capitol’s dome is known as the Statue of Freedom. The statue shows a female wearing a helmet with points tipped with platinum and a crown of an eagle feather. She has a sheathed sword in her right hand and a laurel wreath and shield is in her left hand. This statue is about 191/2 feet tall.
source: theenchantedmanor.com, image: aoc.gov

8. Where Congress Members Can Meditate!

Meditation
Meditation

There is one place in the Capitol building especially created for the members of Congress who want a quiet place for doing meditation or prayer. It is the Congressional Chapel that opened in the Capitol in 1955. But, do not forget that it’s not open for the visitors.
source: theenchantedmanor.com, image: greatist.com

9. Don’t Miss The Whispering Gallery!

Whispering Gallery
Whispering Gallery

There is a “whispering gallery” in the U.S. Capitol building. Echoes occur at different spots in the half-domed shaped National Statuary Hall. Anyone who speaks from a huge distance may be heard more clear than the one standing closer to us.
source: aoc.gov, image: i.ytimg.com

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10. First Congress Meet-Up!

The very first time for which the Congress met for the in the newly made Capitol building was in the month of November in 1800. The construction of the building began in 1793.
source: washingtondcmetroarea.blogspot.in

11. Statue Of Helen Keller!

Portrait of blind American author and educator Helen Keller
Portrait of blind American author and educator Helen Keller

There are 100 statues located in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Nine out of which are the women represented in the National Statuary Hall Collection. It contains the status of the renowned people like Helen Keller as well.
source: washingtondcmetroarea.blogspot.in, image: biography.com

12. The Tragic Fire Of 1814!

Fire at Capitol
Fire at Capitol

On August 24, 1814, the British people set fire to the Capitol building during the War of 1812. A rainstorm somehow prevented it from complete destruction.
source: justfunfacts.com, image: 3.bp.blogspot.com

13. A Gyrocopter Over The Capitol

Gyrocopter in red circle at Capitol
Gyrocopter in red circle at Capitol Premises

On 15th April 2015, a Florida man was caught flying a gyrocopter undetected through restricted airspace and landed on the West Lawn of the Capitol.
source: edition.cnn.com, image: images.enca.com