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

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A view of The vaulted, ornately decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing in the U.S. Capitol Building are called the Brumidi Corridors in honor of Constantino Brumidi, the Italian artist who designed the murals and the major elements.
The vaulted, ornately decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate...

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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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Photo of Dome damage and scaffolding.
As scaffolding installation is completed on the Capitol Dome, the restoration...

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National Statuary Hall in the U.S. Capitol lined with marble statues and columns
The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for the care and preservation of...

Senate Chamber

Senate Chamber

Senators sitting in two story Senate Chamber.
Overview 

The Senate Chamber is a rectangular, two-story room located in the center of the north wing. The nation's 100 senators sit at individual desks arranged on a tiered semicircular platform facing a raised rostrum. A visitor's gallery overlooks the chamber on four sides.

First used on January 4, 1859, the Senate chamber was designed by Thomas U. Walter, the architect of the Capitol extension. The chamber was built without windows to insulate senators from outside noise. Light was originally provided through a large skylight and ventilation came courtesy of steam-powered fans.

In 1949-1950 the chamber was reconstructed, the skylight removed, and the walls redesigned. Pilasters made from red Levanto marble replaced the cast-iron originals; the wooden rostrum was replaced with a larger version in marble; and the iron and glass ceiling was taken out and a new stainless steel and plaster ceiling installed. The alteration were intended to improve the chamber's acoustics and ventilation while ridding it of its mid 19th-century decor, which was then out of fashion.

Last Updated: September 17, 2014