The United States Capitol is one of the most aesthetically significant and symbolically significant structures in the world. For almost two centuries, it has held the Senate and House of Representatives meeting rooms. In addition to being used by Congress, the United States Capitol serves as a museum of American art and history. The grounds also contain many other buildings and monuments.
The current United States Capitol was built from 1792 to 1800. The original building was 48 feet high and consisted of only four floors, but it was replaced by a five-story structure that was completed in 1824. That building was itself replaced between 1856 and 1866 with the current six-story marble edifice designed by Thomas Jefferson, Pierre L'Enfant, and John McArthur. That building was altered and expanded in 1899-1901 with the addition of a seventh floor.
Both the Senate and the House are housed in the U.S. Capitol. The Senate is located on the second floor while the House meets on the first. Each body operates under its own rules and may vote individually or as a whole to reject bills sent them by the president. A bill can be rejected by either house; however, if it is approved by one house and not the other, it will not become law.
Members of the House are elected every two years. There are currently 538 members in the House representing their districts around the country.
The United States Capitol Building The United States Capitol, the world's most known emblem of democratic governance, has hosted Congress since 1800. The Capitol is where Congress gathers to establish our nation's laws and where presidents are sworn in and make their yearly State of the Union addresses. The building is a national landmark that is managed by the National Park Service as part of the U.S. Department of Interior.
It is a massive structure, encompassing 23 acres (93,000 m2) of land on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. The current Capitol was built between 1792 and 1856. The original capitol building, which still stands today near the eastern end of the Mall, was burned down during the War of 1812. The current building is larger than any previous version of it, with overall dimensions of 315 feet (98 m) long and 95 feet (29 m) wide. It has 10 floors above ground level and two below ground, connected by an endless corridor called the Hall of Representatives. The total cost of construction was $62 million ($1.5 billion in 2007 dollars).
The Capitol is a government office building with legislative rooms on the first nine floors and executive offices on the remaining four. The ground floor houses the Statuary Gallery and the Long Gallery. On the second floor is the Rotunda, which serves as the waiting area for members of Congress when they are in session.
The United States Capitol, the world's most known emblem of democratic governance, has hosted Congress since 1800. The building also contains numerous museums and memorials that highlight different periods in U.S. history.
Congress meets in two buildings: the House Chamber and the Senate Chamber. The House Chamber is on the first floor of the H-shaped House Office Building. The chamber is open to the public and can be visited without appointment. A tour guide is available during certain visiting hours.
The Senate Chamber is on the second floor of the Senate Office Building. This room is not open to the public; however, you can take photos inside the atrium that leads up to it.
Both chambers of Congress sit within walking distance of each other. It's about a five-minute walk from the House Chamber to the Senate Chamber.
They meet in either body's home chamber, which determines what kind of legislation they can pass. If it's a House bill, then it must start in the House; if it's a Senate bill, then it must start in the Senate. But both chambers can pass the same bill, so long as one house approves of it.