The Architect's Virtual Capitol
Explore the buildings of Capitol Hill through a historic timeline, videos and...


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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