from U.S. Capitol Historical Society
The U.S. Capitol Historical Society offers a unique alternative way to see and learn about the Capitol Building and the history of the Congress. Away from the hassle of crowds, security, and long lines, you can visit and learn about The Most Famous Building in the World in a small group with personal
attention and no hurry.
Volunteers trained by the Society lead visitors on an extensive tour around the Capitol exterior, providing historical anecdotes and perspectives about the Congress, the origin and construction of the building itself, and the meaning of the democratic form of government.
Learn why it took nearly 40 years to build the original Capitol building and why it has been continually enlarged. Enjoy stories told of famous incidents and crucial events that have taken place inside. Hear about the daily activities that occur in and around the building as well as the history and purpose of the buildings that make up the Capitol complex.
- The Senate Park Commission and the City Beautiful movement’s effect in the nation’s capital
- The concept of a Capitol
- The Capitol complex today
- Choosing the site
- Construction history
- The Senate extension
- The Capitol Grounds
- The plan of the city
- The original sandstone building: Senate wing, Library of Congress, Rotunda, House wing
- Constructing the extensions and dome
- The House extension
- Dome and the Statue of Freedom
- How to tour the public areas of the interior and see the Houses of Congress in session
- Contacting your Congresspeople and Senators
- Where to have lunch
- Other sights to see and tour nearby
The guide will also be available after the tour to answer questions.
Meeting point: These tours will begin at Garfield Circle at the bus drop off location for the Capitol Grounds, 1st Street and Maryland Avenue SW, Washington DC.
End points: The tours will end at the bus pickup location for the Capitol Grounds at Peace Circle, 1st Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, Washington DC. If requested, guests can be left at the Capitol Visitor Center entrance at East Capitol Street, or at any other location requested by the guests.