Luxurious Simplicity

Longworth Building Lobby/tiles/non-collection/L/LHOB_lobby.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Though conscientious in spending, the architect nonetheless found that the building's appearance was often compared to an extravagant hotel lobby.
Member's Office Longworth Building/tiles/non-collection/L/LHOB_office.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
Unlike the cramped, single room spaces in Cannon, each Longworth office consisted of a main greeting room, a private office for the representative, and an individual lavatory.
In 1949, while the Chamber was under construction, the House of Representative assembled in 1100 Longworth, the usual home the the Committee on Ways and Means./tiles/non-collection/L/LHOB_WM.xml
Collection of the U.S. House of Representatives
About this object
In 1949, while the Chamber was under construction, the House of Representative assembled in 1100 Longworth, the usual home the the Committee on Ways and Means.
Though relatively modest, the new building was hardly plain. Inside, bronze chandeliers engraved with eagles lined the lavender and green marble corridors, and the polished walnut and gold elevators were described as jeweled boxes. Pale blue leather couches and and desks made of high quality American walnut—Barnet Phillip’s preferred type of wood—outfitted the private offices of each Representative. A larger office, which provided space for staff and served as the greeting room, featured walnut-paneling, golden brocade curtains, and apple green carpet. Rooms throughout the building also contained inlaid oak and rubber tiled floors. In addition to the private office and greeting room, each Member’s office had a private lavatory trimmed in pastel green tile. Senior member Adolph J. Sabath received the largest office with built-in cabinets, a built-in safe, a private clothes closet, and an additional living room. The Chicago Tribune best described the architecture and furnishings of Longworth as “luxurious simplicity.”

The largest room in the building is the assembly room, which seats 450 and has served as the Ways and Means Committee room since 1938. Filled with Ionic pilasters and columns and constructed from simpler materials than the Cannon caucus room, the colonial revival style room embodies the nationalist design style popular in the 1930s and 1940s. The room’s original muted color scheme ranged from light tan to creamy orange, keeping the focus on the detailed craftsmanship of the molded eagles and swags of foliage and fruits. Gold curtains and jade green carpeting, which complemented the green leather covered chairs, decorated the room. The upper rostrum, made of American walnut, features a large eagle and served as the room’s focal point.

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