The sun shining on the Ionic Columns on the Longworth House Office Building.
The Ionic column is typically identified by its capital, which includes large...


The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
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Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Ayers to serve as...


Early House of Representatives Chamber (artist representation)
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Explore Capitol Hill



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.

Find out how the Crypt got its name.

Last Updated: April 15, 2015