United States Capitol often called a Capitol building was established in 1800. It was the meeting chamber for the United States legislature for more than two centuries. US capitol is a symbol of American democracy. In addition to the meeting chamber, it is a house for American art and stands as an architectural symbol. There are some mysterious and interesting facts about the Capitol building. Let’s have a look at these interesting facts.
Competition to Submit Plan
The design of the US Capitol was chosen through a design competition held by Thomas Jefferson to get the best design from architects of the country. The competition was held because of the dismissal of the designer to produce drawings for his proposed design. Out of the 17 submitted plans, no plan could meet the requirements of commissioners. Finally, a late entry by William Thornton was selected as the design of the US Capitol building.
US Capitol has its own subway to carry politicians from house and Senate office buildings.
Is Anyone Buried inside the Building?
An area called crypt was built at the center of Capitol building to store the remains of President George Washington and Martha Washington after their death. But this decision failed as President George’s will specified his wish to be buried at his home.
The Statue of Freedom
A bronze statue of a female with a height of 19 and a half feet, placed at the top of Capitol’s dome is known as the Statue of Freedom. It was designed by Thomas Crawford. The statue has a weight of 15,000 pounds.
The half-domed National Statuary Hall is known as the whispering gallery of US capitol. Acoustical effect of the hall causes echoes at different spots. Thus a speaker standing far away can be heard more clearly than one standing closer.
Fire of 1814
During the war of 1812, the British set fire to the capitol building on 24 August 1814. But a storm prevented the capitol building from huge destruction.
11 Architects for US Capitol
US capitol is a contribution of 11 architects during its various construction phases. The main architect of the capitol was Dr. William Thornton and the design of the new dome was made by architect Thomas U Walter.
No Buildings Should Be Taller than Capitol
As per the law passed in 1899, there should not be any building higher than the Capitol building. However, buildings with equal height are allowed. In 1910, this law was amended and now Capitol is Columbia’s fifth tallest building.