[Franklin Delano Roosevelt and Herbert Hoover in a convertible car on their way to the United States Capitol for Roosevelt's inauguration on March 4, 1933]. In 1933, he was the architect of the Capitol. The position was created for Franklin D. Roosevelt by Congress when they passed the National Historic Preservation Act on June 4, 1966.
The position of Architect of the Capitol has been described as the most powerful position in government outside of the presidency itself. As such, it carries with it great responsibility and discretion. The office is administered by the Senate Architect Committee under the direction of the Senate Architect, who is appointed by the Senate president. The committee may also appoint a deputy superintendent of buildings to serve at its pleasure.
The first person to hold the office was James Hoban, who designed and built what is now known as the White House. He completed his work in 1792, just nine years after the establishment of the federal government. His design was based on plans drawn up by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, an American architect who had recently come to Washington as the chief designer for the new U.S. Capitol building. The following year, Congress authorized the payment of $7,500 to have the job done.
Hoban's son finished the construction of what is now called the basement level of the White House in 1814.
By 1796, the construction of the United States Capital Building had fallen behind schedule, and the commission in charge decided to focus on completing only the north wing of the capitol in order for it to open on time. In 1800, Congress took over the United States Capitol. Construction resumed in 1803, with new finance and a new architect, Benjamin Latrobe. The south wing was completed two years later.
The United States Capitol is one of the most iconic buildings in Washington, D.C. It was designed by American architect Balthazar Kagerbauer and built between 1792 and 1856. The north wing was added in 1816, and the south wing in 1842. The entire building was renovated from 2006 to 2008.
The United States Capitol is an example of Neoclassical architecture. It is composed of three parts: the Senate Wing, the House Wing, and the Rotunda. The Senate Wing is where the majority party holds its meetings while the House of Representatives meets in the House Wing. The Rotunda is at the center of it all and serves as both a meeting place and a courtroom.
The United States Capitol was built to provide a permanent home for the Congress and to serve as the center of government activity.
When President Thomas Jefferson appointed Latrobe as "Surveyor of Public Buildings," he promptly redesigned the Capitol structure and went on to provide Washington, D.C. a House of Representatives, Senate chambers, and the Supreme Court. The new Capitol had to be ready for occupancy by July 1, 1800, but work did not begin until late 1801 or early 1802. The project was complicated by the fact that the city was still under construction; roads were unpaved, bridges were missing, and water mains weren't connected to the sewer system.
Latrobe's chief assistant was his son Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Young Ben took over supervision of the project after his father died in 1816. He too helped redesign the Capitol, this time making it more Greek Revival in style. The younger Latrobe's most important contribution was the addition of an attic story to each house chamber, which provided better ventilation and made the rooms more energy efficient. The U.S. Congress still meets in these chambers today.
There is some evidence that George Washington himself may have been involved in the design process for the new Capitol. A letter written by him in 1792 suggests that he wanted a domed chamber for the House of Representatives, which would have been unusual at that time. The design submitted by Latrobe following this suggestion was probably the first one drafted for the new Capitol.
A design competition was then organized, and the winning submission for the Capitol building was submitted by a Scotsman called William Thornton. Washington placed the Capitol's cornerstone in September 1793, kicking off the protracted building process that would include a slew of project managers and architects. The final product is an impressive structure with unprecedented innovative features. It is now considered one of the founding documents of American architecture.
The original design for the Capitol featured a central dome but this was later changed to a flat roof. The reason given by Washington for choosing this design is that "a dome seems to me to be too heavy for the rest of the building". He also felt that it would be inappropriate for the government institution that he wanted the Capitol to be. The design also includes Ionic and Doric columns which support the roof. There are two floors to the Capitol building with its main entrance on Pennsylvania Avenue. Inside, the ground floor is open with rooms used for legislative purposes while the first floor is closed off to the public but has offices where members of Congress work.
It took nearly 15 years from the time that Washington signed the construction contract until the opening of the Capitol building in 1814. During this period, there were frequent changes made to the plan by different architects who were working on it. These included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, James Hoban and John McMullen.
Samuel Lewis designed it, and building began in 1787 and was finished in 1789. The "An Act to Establish the Temporary and Permanent Seat of the Government of the United States," approved by the United States Congress at New York's Federal Hall, established a temporary U.S. capital in Philadelphia from 1790 to 1800.
The History of the United States Capitol Building The United States Capitol Building's history begins in 1793. The United States Capitol has been erected, burnt, rebuilt, enlarged, and restored several times since then.
In 1900, the Philadelphia branch of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) began a study of Congress Hall and launched a fundraising campaign to restore the building completely. Following the receipt of money, the City of Philadelphia approved the restoration project in 1912, which was overseen by the AIA.