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The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
See the fact file below for more information on the Capitol Hill or alternatively, you can download our 20-page Capitol Hill worksheet pack to utilise within the classroom or home environment.
Key Facts & Information
- The U.S. Capitol Building is the most architecturally impressive and symbolically important buildings in the world.
- Today, the U.S. Capitol Building covers a ground area of 175,170 square feet, or about 4 acres, and has a floor area of approximately 16-1/2 acres.
- Its length, from north to south, is 751 feet 4 inches, its greatest width, including approaches, is 350 feet. Its height above the baseline on the east front to the top of the Statue of Freedom is 288 feet. The building contains approximately 540 rooms and has 658 windows (108 in the dome alone) and approximately 580 doorways.
- The construction of the Capitol began in 1793, with the initial cornerstone laid by President Washington on September 18, 1793, after holding a competition to determine the design of the building.
- The north wing was the first section completed, and the first session of Congress took place there on November 17, 1800. In 1803, Benjamin Henry Latrobe resumed construction and completed the south wing and reconstructed the north wing.
- In 1813, the wings were completed and connected via a wooden passageway. On August 24, 1814, British troops set fire to the building during the War of 1812. However, a sudden rainstorm prevented the total destruction of the building.
- When Latrobe returned to make repairs in 1815, he took the opportunity to change the interior design and introduced new materials (marble from the Potomac River).
- When Latrobe resigned in 1817 due to increasing pressure and funding issues, the responsibility was turned over to Boston architect Charles Bulfinch, who then proceeded to finish the restoration of the north and south wings and make the chambers for the Supreme Court, the House, and the Senate ready for use by 1819.
- Landscaping and decoration were completed by 1826, along with updates to the central dome. An impressive building even then, by 1850, the Capitol could not accommodate the growing number of senators and representatives from new states and required an extension.
- Philadelphia architect Thomas U. Walter supervised the construction of the extensions, ensuring their consistency with the architectural style of the existing building.
- During the Civil War, its construction was halted, with the Capitol used as a military barracks, hospital, and bakery. In 1862, work on the entire building resumed.
- The dome and the canopy fresco painting on the inside were completed to great fanfare by 1869. Over the next century, more additions and renovations took place, with the addition of the marble terraces on the sides, elevators, fireproofing (due to another fire in 1898), electric lighting, and air conditioning.
- After 1970, electronic voting machines were added to the House chamber, and more modern amenities, including televisions, computer and communications facilities, and surveillance, bring it up to the present day.
- The U.S. Capitol Visitor Center is the newest addition to the complex, built only in 2008. Located underneath the Capitol, it contains exhibits, orientation displays, theaters, and other facilities to make a visitor’s experience more informative.
- The building is a great example of 19th-century neoclassical architecture, with designs inspired by Roman and Greek ideas.
- It combines function with aesthetics. Even as extensions were added, architects maintained the harmony with existing portions of the building.
- The United States Capitol Preservation Commission was established under Title VIII of Public Law 100-696 in November 1988 for the purpose of providing for improvements in preservation and acquisitions (including works of fine art and other property for display) for the United States Capitol and other locations under the control of the Congress.
- In September 1999, the Commission was given the responsibility, pursuant to Public Law 106-57, for approving the planning, engineering, design, and construction milestones of the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC).
- The CVC will be a facility located under the East Plaza of the Capitol that is designed to enhance the experience of visitors to the Capitol through improved visitor orientation and related services, strengthened Capitol security, and integration of the Center’s design concepts with the appropriate improvements to the Capitol’s East Plaza.
- Guided tours of the Capitol are available with a reservation, but the Capitol Visitor Center is accessible to the public during open hours.
- Whether you are a history buff or not, the Capitol is truly a must-see sight when in Washington, D.C.
Capitol Hill Worksheets
This is a fantastic bundle which includes everything you need to know about the Capitol Hill across 20 in-depth pages. These are ready-to-use Capitol Hill worksheets that are perfect for teaching students about the Capitol Hill. The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C.
Complete List Of Included Worksheets
- Capitol Hill in Washington DC Facts
- Look Back
- Capitol Hill Timeline
- The Capitol Hill
- Words to Know
- People Behind
- CHWDC and the Six Thinking Hats
- Washington DC Vacay!
- Breaking News!
- CHWDC Puzzle
- Four Fun Facts
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Link will appear as Capitol Hill Facts & Worksheets: https://kidskonnect.com - KidsKonnect, September 11, 2019
Use With Any Curriculum
These worksheets have been specifically designed for use with any international curriculum. You can use these worksheets as-is, or edit them using Google Slides to make them more specific to your own student ability levels and curriculum standards.