The Capitol is a symbol of democracy, the meeting place of Congress, and a historic building more than 200 years old. Here, learn more about how the House of Representatives' most significant spaces, art and historic artifacts have grown, moved and evolved with the Congress’s many changes.
The House met here for 50 turbulent years, debating important issues of the day: slavery, westward expansion, and more. After the House moved to new quarters in 1857, the room became National Statuary Hall. Travel back in time to when the room operated as the Old House Chamber, then jump ahead to the rich collection of statues on display today.
The House Chamber is where Members of Congress debate and pass laws. The House of Representatives first met here in 1857, and the room has continued to evolve. New technology, changing decorative tastes, and a growing nation fed this stream of innovation. Discover what changed and what stayed the same here.
Getting together—with colleagues, constituents, press, staff—has long been a vital part of the legislative process. From its earliest days, the Capitol has provided for this need with a range of meeting spaces. Some, like the Members’ Dining Room, are open to all visitors. Others, like the Speaker’s Lobby, are off the beaten path. Go behind the scenes to explore the history and contents of these famous spots.
This selection of blog posts expands on content from the digital exhibit "What's in the Capitol?" by approaching specific topics from different angles. Enjoy reading about the first female artists to paint Speakers of the House, or how delicacies in the House Restaurant changed over time.