Rayburn Reception Room

Rayburn Reception Room Photograph/tiles/non-collection/R/Rayburn-room-AOC.xml Image courtesy of the Architect of the Capitol The Rayburn room shows a mid-20th century interpretation of Federal style interior design.
Just across from the Democratic Cloakroom, the Rayburn Reception Room is a relative newcomer to the Capitol. It was completed in 1962 as part of the East Front extension and dedicated to Speaker Sam Rayburn, who promoted the building project. The House side of the Capitol long lacked a reception room where Members could meet with press or receive constituents. Although the space is modern, the historic spaces of the Capitol inspired the design and décor.

Like the House Chamber, which was remodeled more than a decade earlier, walnut paneling is the dominant material. The room is ringed with a carved entablature. Below it, Corinthian pilasters divide the wall space. On the south wall, the House dictated niches for the Sèvres vases and a space between them for the newly acquired George Washington portrait.

Other decorative details echo forms and symbols used in earlier days throughout the Capitol. Marble mantels modeled after the 1812 design seen in the Old Senate Chamber surround the two fireplaces. Their vertical sides contain fasces topped with liberty caps. The corners take the shape of acanthus leaves, and 13 stars surround floral decorations along the horizontal surface. The branches of the brass wall sconces are formed from laurel and oak branches, symbolizing victory and longevity, respectively.

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