Thursday, August 1, 2013

Behind the Scenes Capitol Tour: Part 2

Last time, I showed off the Senate side of our behind the scenes Capitol tour.  Today will be all about the House of Representatives (again, I'm pretty sure it's the House, but I apologize if I got something wrong, I'm not claiming to be an expert).

Before checking out the House, we stopped in the Capitol Rotunda.

The Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda eye of the Capitol dome by Brumidi
The one thing we did not have the opportunity to do was climb the 365 steps from the basement to the outdoor walkway on top of the Capitol dome.  I thought it would be too much to ask, so we skipped it this time.

You can see the black iron steps if you look really closely--they circle the dome

Rosa Parks is the newest sculpture in the rotunda

Directly below the dome in the Capitol crypt sits a large compass, which marks where the four quadrants of the District of Columbia meet.

The Speaker of the House basically has his own wing of the Capitol.  

The Speaker's view out his office

View into the Speaker's office and a clever use of the flag

Another Speaker-from central IL!

My absolute favorite room we found was the Rayburn room.  My dad claims we have some familial connection to him, and although I'm not entirely sure how, I immediately love anything with his name on it.

House members meet in this room every week to have lunch and discuss issues.  I was really excited because this room is open so we could go in and sit at the table.

Naturally, I pretended I was Nancy Pelosi discussing important proposed bills.

How Representatives act, obviously.

Nancy's office corridor was just off the Rayburn room, although we didn't venture any farther since we didn't want to get into any trouble.

Like the Senate, the Representatives have a room to meet outside of the floor.  Unlike the Senate, you could actually see into this room.

On the public side of the the floor of the House were several chairs guarding the door.  I can only assume important people sit here and wait for results.

One of our final stops of the day was to check out the mini subway in the basement of the Capitol.  Members and other Capitol staff take these as a quick transport between offsite offices and the floor when they have meetings or votes. There are also underground walkways for those that prefer to walk, but want to avoid the hassle and traffic of crossing a single street.

The don't run on the weekends, otherwise we would have taken a ride

Members only car

Our day would not have been complete without the busts of two of my favorite presidents:

And finally, before we left we took in a few more of the wonderfully decorated halls.  

There were several hallways full of quotes above every door.  I took pictures of every. single. one.  Brian was annoyed, but patient.

Midwest represent!

Yay Ponies!

And, that my friends was our behind the scenes tour of the Capitol.  Now I just need to find a connection for a White House tour.


  1. haha Yay Ponies!
    This was so super cool! The poli sci major in me is geeking out.

  2. Ha! I love that they have their own subway! And no worries, I would have taken pictures of every quote too. :)


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