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Photograph of people walking outside on a Self-Guided Tour of Capitol Hill
Visitors can tour many highlights on Capitol Hill without registering.

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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...

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Tower crane being installed at the Cannon House Office Building.
High in the sky, about 50 feet above the roof, a crane is peeking out of the...

Architecture

Crypt

Overview 

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: December 15, 2015