Lindy Claiborne Boggs Congressional Women's Reading Room
The historic space where Congresswomen now gather to meet and refresh, located off of Statuary Hall, is one of the oldest parts of the Capitol. It also served as an office for Speakers, Clerks of the House, and Committees. A witness to more than two centuries of history, the space now known as the Lindy Claiborne Boggs Congressional Women’s Reading Room has hosted numerous celebrated figures, including Speaker Henry Clay and President John Quincy Adams. Since 1962, the suite has belonged to the Congresswomen of the House.
A Room History
This space became the Speaker’s Office after Statuary Hall was remodeled as a result of the 1814 burning of the Capitol by the British during the War of 1812. Henry Clay was its first occupant, using the room from 1819 to 1821 and from 1823 to 1825. Clay had a long and illustrious career, serving in both the House and the Senate. He was elected Speaker on his first day in the House in 1811 and went on to transform the Speakership into a powerful leadership post.
The Speaker’s Office eventually moved to the new wing of the House in 1857. The Clerk of the House took over the Speaker’s old office, and through the following years, the Committee on Banking and Currency (1874–1885) and the Enrolling Clerk (1915–1918) occupied the space.