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The Capitol History Project

U.S. Capitol Floor Plan
Click an image below to view a larger verison of the Capitol floor plan.
1st Floor:
1st Floor Plan
2nd Floor:
2nd Floor Plan
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The Capitol on C-SPAN

Join C-SPAN for a special series looking into the history, art and architecture of the United States Capitol. Through interviews, tours, and unprecedented access into the building's public and private spaces, C-SPAN presents a groundbreaking look inside the building that both houses and symbolizes American democratic government here and around the world.

  • Purchase The Capitol History Video (1 DVD - Documentary)

  • Purchase The Capitol History Video Collection

  • Part 1
    Watch Program
    Part 2
    Watch Program
    Part 3
    Watch Program

    The Capitol Oral History Project
    As part of our television series, C-SPAN embarked on the Capitol Oral History Project – a first ever effort to collect all the stories on videotape that tell the history of the U.S. Capitol. Through original interviews with members of Congress, historians, curators and journalists, learn about the building's history, the art inside it, and the people and issues that have defined not only a building, but a country through the legislation passed inside the Capitol.
  • Visit the Capitol Oral History Project »

  •  Virtual Tours
    Explore and learn about the many different areas of the Capitol.

  • Introduction
       Part 1: George Washington's role in the planning of the Capitol and Washington, DC.
       Part 2: The Early Capitol: Jefferson's role in designing the Capitol, through the burning of the Capitol in 1814.
       Part 3: The Capitol repaired, Slavery's role in building the Capitol, and the paintings of the Capitol Rotunda

  • The Rotunda & Dome

  • Senate Side

  • House Side

    More Virtual Tours »

  •  Words of a Nation
    Landmark speeches made and cases presented in the Capitol.

  • Daniel Webster's "Seventh of March" Speech
    Delivered March 7, 1850 in the Old Senate Chamber

  • Henry Clay and the Compromise of 1850
    Introduced on January 29, 1850 in the Old Senate Chamber

  • Charles Sumner's "Crime Against Kansas" Speech
    Delivered May 19-20, 1856 in the Old Senate Chamber

  • Jefferson Davis' farewell address to the Senate
    Delivered on Jan. 21, 1861 in the Senate Chamber

  • The Amistad Case
    Argued in January, 1841 in the Old Supreme Court Chamber

  • The Dred Scott Decision
    Issued March 6, 1857 in the Old Supreme Court Chamber

  •  Congressional Leaders
    Interviews from C-SPAN Radio's "American Political Archive" with House & Senate leaders of the past as they talk about the institutions of the House & Senate.

  • Speaker of the House John McCormack (D-MA)

  • Rep. Charles Halleck, (R-IN) & Fmr. House Speaker Carl Albert (D-OK)

  • Robert F. Kennedy

  • Fmr. Vice President Hubert Humphrey

  • More Congressional Leaders »
     Capitol Photo Gallery
    Images of the Capitol through its history.

  • Dome Reconstruction

  • U.S. House Chamber

  • Views of Washington, DC

    Full Photo Gallery »

  •  Capitol Events
    Lectures and presentations about Capitol history and experience.
  • Constantino Brumidi

  • Ford Leader's Lecture

  • Mitchell Leader's Lecture

  • Bush Leader's Lecture

    More Capitol Events »

  •  Watch the Capitol Grow
    See how the Capitol has grown over the past 200 years

  • Animation (No sound)
    A 45 second digital animation of the construction of the Capitol.

  • Capitol Construction
    A timeline of the construction of the Capitol from 1792-1962

  •  Making Of The Capitol
    Behind the scenes of "The Capitol" series.

    WatchQ&A Interview with Mark Farkas, C-SPAN Producer

    WatchQ&A Interview with Diane Skvarla, U.S. Senate Curator

    WatchGo to the Senate Floor to see Brian Lamb interview Mark Farkas and Bob Reilly about the Capitol History Project.

    WatchThe crew of The Capitol on the West Front of the Capitol. Executive Producer Mark Farkas gives an explanation of a jib.

    WatchGo up in a helicopter above Washington, DC as Bob Reilly gets aerial shots of the Mall and the Capitol.

    WatchSteadicam assembly and explanation: Watch steadicam operator Andy Colvin as he puts together and explains how a steadicam works.

    WatchThe crew of The Capitol during their interview with House Speaker Hastert.

    WatchThe process the crew performed daily to get into the Capitol.

    WatchThe crew of The Capitol during their interview with Speaker Hastert.

    WatchThe crew of The Capitol during their interview with Sen. Dodd.

    WatchFollow the crew of The Capitol up into the Dome.

    American Icons Documentaries
    American Icons Documentaries 3-DVD Set

    E-mail us your comments
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    The Capitol: Introduction
    Watch the first seven minutes of C-SPAN's look into the history, art and architecture of the U.S. Capitol
     Download  |  Copyright
    Program Clips
    George Washington's influence on the Capitol
    2 min. 20 sec.

    Thomas Jefferson's Influence on the Capitol
    1 min. 42 sec.

    The Old Senate Chamber
    2 min. 18 sec.

    The Rotunda
    2 min. 7 sec.

    The Role of Slavery in Building the Capitol
    2 min. 3 sec.

    The Building of the Dome During the Civil War
    1 min. 33 sec.

    The House Chamber
    1 min. 42 sec.

    The Desks in the Senate Chamber
    1 min. 20 sec.

    House of Representatives
    The official website of the U.S. House
    United States Senate
    The official website of the U.S. Senate
    Architect of the Capitol
    Track the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex
    Congressional Bio Guide
    Biographical information on all members of Congress, past and present
    U.S. Capitol Historical Society
    Learn about the history and heritage of the U.S. Capitol building, its institutions and the people who have served therein
    Library of Congress
    Learn about and search the collections of the Library of Congress
    National Archives
    Learn about and search the collections of the National Archives
    Supreme Court
    The official website of the U.S. Supreme Court
    White House
    The official website of the White House
    White House Historical Assn.
    White House history and the persons and events associated with it