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

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The Martin Luther King, Jr. Bust is a bronze sculpture that is 36 inches high on a 66-inch high Belgian black marble base.
The bust of Martin Luther King, Jr has been on display in the Capitol Rotunda...

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The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
A few ideas to help you in planning a visit to Capitol Hill.

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AOC members holding the Historic Preservation Award that they received
The Architect of the Capitol strives to perform all work at a high level of...

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The East Front of the U.S. Capitol at Dusk
The AOC works to make the Capitol Dome, an enduring symbol of democracy...

Dirksen Building History

Dirksen Building History

Dirksen Building History
Overview 

Until the 1940s, Senate staff positions were mostly clerical and custodial. President Franklin Roosevelt's New Deal and the response to the nation's entry into the Second World War fueled the growth and domination of the executive branch. As a result, congressional leaders became convinced of the need to greatly expand their staffs to include experts on a growing list of complex policy issues.

Soon after the war ended, Congress passed the Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946. This landmark statute allowed Congress to hire professional staffs at salaries equal to those employed by the executive branch. Each committee gained four professional and six clerical aides. The surge in numbers of new staff made a second building necessary - one intended primarily to accommodate committees.

In a departure from committee arrangements in the Russell Building, where members and witnesses sat around a common table, the new building would feature large hearing rooms with raised platforms for members and facilities suitable for the new medium of television.
 

Last Updated: May 14, 2012