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Painted portrait of Dr. William Thornton
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History of the Rayburn House Office Building

History of the Rayburn House Office Building
Overview 

The Rayburn House Office Building, completed in early 1965, is the third of three office buildings constructed for the United States House of Representatives. Earlier efforts to provide space for the House of Representatives had included the construction of the Cannon Building and the Longworth Building.

In March 1955 Speaker Sam Rayburn introduced an amendment for a third House office building, although no site had been identified, no architectural study had been done, and no plans prepared. The Architect of the Capitol, J. George Stewart, with the approval of the House Office Building Commission, selected the firm of Harbeson, Hough, Livingston and Larson of Philadelphia to design a simplified, classical building in architectural harmony with other Capitol Hill structures. The cornerstone was laid in May 1962, and full occupancy of the building began in February 1965.

Last Updated: March 23, 2015