Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

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This painting by Allyn Cox depicts the cornerstone laying ceremony and is currently on display in the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The cornerstone was laid on Wednesday, September 18, 1793, during the first...

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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

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Stewardship
The Architect of the Capitol is committed to the preservation and stewardship...

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Photo of US Capitol Building made of plant materials.
The U.S. Botanic Garden’s annual holiday exhibit is on display November 27...

Crypt

Overview 

The large circular area on the first floor of the U.S. Capitol Building is called the Crypt. The 40 Doric columns of brown stone surmounted by groined sandstone arches support the floor of the Rotunda. This center section of the building was completed in 1827 under the direction of the third Architect of the Capitol, Charles Bulfinch. The star in the center of the floor denotes the point from which the streets in Washington are laid out and numbered. Located in the Crypt are 13 statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection, representing the 13 original colonies, and the Magna Carta replica and display.

Last Updated: January 29, 2014