East Portico of the U.S. Capitol Building


The remains of the east portico of the U.S. Capitol Building, scattered between Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum are historical relics – too significant just to throw away, but not quite nice enough anymore to put out on the front lawn for company to see.022

Carved from Virginia sandstone in 1828 and built to stand the test of time, this neo-classical façade is the lofty democratic ideal of a young nation made manifest.  Work on the building itself was ongoing until 1864, at which time the familiar capitol dome was completed.  The dome as constructed was significantly larger than it was initially conceived, ultimately dwarfing the east portico.  Evolution in democracy and design.  An addition to bring the scale of the portico in line with that of the rest of the structure was considered and finally executed in 1958.  The historic remains of the original east portico – where presidents from Andrew Jackson to Dwight Eisenhower were inaugurated – were cast aside inauspiciously, disposed of, and fairly forgotten.



Rock Creek Park and the National Arboretum

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Abandoned Washington DC by Thomas Kenning



8 thoughts on “East Portico of the U.S. Capitol Building

  1. I really enjoyed reading your take on this. Nicely said.

    Posted by roman | August 5, 2011, 2:51 am
  2. Excellent work, thank you for sharing with us. Steve McLane, Architect
    Also, is there anything left of Jefferson’s Pier? (the original intended location for the Washington Monument).

    Posted by Steve McLane | December 28, 2012, 7:59 pm
  3. These descriptions are beautifully written. Thanks for this, we are about to go out exploring with a camera right now!

    Posted by Jenna Kellen | May 2, 2013, 7:04 pm
  4. Nice blog. I’m just visiting, but I still went there. It was a great experience. It is nice that you post this online, for people who don’t know this.

    Some of my pictures are here

    Posted by Atnas | August 14, 2013, 5:10 am


  1. Pingback: Rock Creek Park and the U.S. Capitol; Grand Old Stones No More | Abandoned Country - April 14, 2014

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