Cannon Caucus Room
Image courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol
Caucus Room, Cannon House Office Building
Measuring 74 feet long by 54 feet wide, the Cannon Caucus Room can accommodate a crowd. Built to impress, the double-height room harmonizes with the airy feel of the Rotunda’s second floor, lying outside its doors. Paired Corinthian pilasters give depth and interest to the high walls, and lead the eye to the elaborate ceiling. A molded plaster entablature, enriched with color and gilding, outlines the upper walls. The ceiling is decorated with a variety of classical motifs, including rosettes and a Greek key border.
Caucus Room Glass Shade, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Glass shades decorated with symbolic motifs are used on all the fixtures that light the Cannon Caucus Room.
Testimony Before the House Un-American Activities Committee, Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
The 1948 House Un-American Activities hearing investigating the accused Soviet spy Duncan Lee packed the spacious Caucus Room in 1948
Six windows and four crystal chandeliers light the room. The three-tiered chandeliers—original to the room and still in place—have unique glass shades surrounding the lights. Decorative motifs seen throughout the Capitol Liberty caps, eagles, laurel wreaths, and fasces are sandblasted onto the globe shades. A stylized profile of a Native American, often used as a representation of North America in 19th century decorative schemes of the Capitol, also appears on the fixtures.
The Caucus room has long hosted luncheons, receptions, and committee meetings, but it is perhaps most famous as the site of some of the most publicized hearings of the House Un-American Activities Committee. Photos from the era show the gracious space packed with chairs and tables, all crowded with Members, witnesses, press and spectators.