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The Architect of the Capitol’s challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic buildings; adapting state-of-the-art technology; and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting.
The Architect of the Capitol's challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic...

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The Lion – A Mane Attraction

With its prominent mane, the lion has long been a symbol in art and architecture representing royalty, stateliness and bravery. Through these appearances in paintings, sculpture and ornamental adornment to buildings, the "king of the jungle" often finds itself out of the wild and in more urban areas, like Washington, D.C.

Below are six areas where you'll find this type of cat on the Capitol campus, including a few located inside for those days when March "comes in like a lion" with cold and unpleasant weather.

1. Grant Memorial

Recently brought into popular culture by the opening credits of Netflix's House of Cards TV series, the Grant Memorial includes four bronze lions on pedestals guarding the flags of the Army and the United States.

Grant Memorial lion before restoration, with the Capitol Dome in the background. Lion-head spout on the Senate Fountain

Left to Right: 1) Grant Memorial prior to restoration, 2) Senate Fountain

2. Senate Fountain

The display fountain in the park between the U.S. Capitol and Union Station, located over the Senate underground garage, features lion-head spouts on the faces of its large, granite hexagon.

3. Rayburn House Office Building

In the Rayburn Building's foyer, a decorative lion head sits above the door leading to the courtyard.

Lion head ornamentation above the door leading from the Rayburn Building foyer to its courtyard. Brumidi's Zodiac Corridor

Left to Right: 3) Rayburn Building, 4) Brumidi Corridors

4. Brumidi Corridors

Leo, the astrological sign represented by a lion, appears among the zodiac area of the Brumidi Corridors in the Senate Wing of the Capitol Building.

5. Thomas Jefferson Building

On the second floor of the Library of Congress Jefferson Building's West Corridor, the mural of Zoology shows a woman and a lion in a painting collection depicting the sciences.

Zoology Mural in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building This statue of Senator William Edgar Borah was given to the National Statuary Hall Collection by Idaho in 1947.

Left to Right: 5) Thomas Jefferson Building, 6) Capitol Visitor Center

6. Capitol Visitor Center

Affectionately known as the "Lion of Idaho," Senator William Edgar Borah's statue greets those entering the North Orientation Theater from Emancipation Hall.

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