As the role of the House of Representatives grew over time, the Capitol campus expanded along with it. The three House Office Buildings constructed over the course of the 20th century each uniquely reflect the challenges and changes faced in their eras.
The Cannon House Office Building is the oldest congressional office building. When completed in 1908, these new offices for Members of Congress forever changed how the House of Representatives worked.
The desperate need for more workspace for the House of Representatives coincided with a need for jobs during the Great Depression. The modest and economically planned Longworth building addressed both these concerns in the early 1930s.
The years following World War II brought many changes to Congress—both in the business needing attention, and the ways that work was done. The Rayburn Building—by far the largest of the House offices—embraced mid-century modernism and provided space for expanding committees.
The advent of dedicated office space in 1908 changed some of the House’s basic functions. Members now had individual rooms in which to meet constituents, conduct business, and keep legislative files. Some of America’s most notable politicians used the spaces that are still occupied by Representatives today.
Learn more about House Office Buildings and the Capitol campus through related blog posts. Explore the history of the Ford and O'Neill House Office Buildings, uncover artifacts from the Cannon House Office Building, and read about the office lottery.