The Capitol is a working office – the meeting place of the U.S. Senate and House of Representatives – and a museum visited by millions every year.
Selected through an architectural competition, the initial design of the U.S. Capitol was devised by Dr. William Thornton in the 1790s and construction was completed on the original building in 1820. A renovation and expansion was completed in 1868, including the construction of the familiar Capitol Dome. The Capitol grounds were designed by noted American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmstead in 1874.
The Capitol grounds are open to the public year-round, and tours of the interior are available with a reservation.