Capitol Hill is best known for the eponymous domed building symbolizing American democracy. In the early 1790’s, the building was known as Jenkins’ Hill. This building is home of the United States Congress.
It was built after Thomas Jefferson held a design competition to elicit entries from some of the finest architects in America. The winning prize was $500. Eventually, a design by William Thornton was selected. The first President of the United States, George Washington laid the cornerstone for the Capitol on September 18th 1793 in an elaborate ceremony.
Fast Facts: –
- The first ever session of Congress was held in the new building on November 17, 1800.
- There were plans to bury George Washington under the Capitol building but they were cancelled later because in his will he wished to be buried at his home at Mount Vernon.
- There was a law passed in 1899 restricting any building in D. C. from being built taller that the Capitol Hill building.
- This law was amended in 1910 and now it has become the fifth tallest building in the District of Columbia.
- The famous dome of the building was added later in mid 1850s.
- The building has 540 rooms and 648 windows out of which 108 are in the dome alone.
- During the war of 1812, the building was nearly burned to the ground. Luckily, a sudden rainstorm prevented the city from being completely destroyed.
- At the top of the dome, there is a statue called Statue of Freedom. It is an allegorical female figure.
- There is a circular room in the center of the building beneath the Capitol dome. It is known as the Rotunda.