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Ancient drinking horns called rhytons inspired the design of this sculptural ornament for the Rayburn House Office Building.

Ancient drinking horns called rhytons inspired the design of this sculptural ornament for the Rayburn House Office Building.

Architect of the Capitol

Ancient drinking horns called rhytons

The Campus Grows Again

The Legislative Reorganization Act of 1946 brought significant reforms in committee staffing and operations. These increased Congress’s need for hearing rooms and staff offices. Four new buildings helped to meet the demand: the Dirksen and Hart Senate Office Buildings (opened 1958 and 1982) and the Rayburn and Ford House Office Buildings (opened 1965 and acquired 1975).

The Library of Congress staff and collections also were expanding. Completed in 1981, the Madison Memorial Building (one of the world’s largest library structures) relieved space shortages and made possible the restoration of the Library’s Jefferson and Adams buildings. The underground Capitol Visitor Center, opened in 2008, covers about 580,000 square feet on three levels, giving Americans a more informative, comfortable, and secure way to visit their Capitol.