[1] Directly in front of the Vice President's desk one tier down is "a larger desk of similar design," which was used by the Secretary of the Senate and Chief Clerk. An 1842 engraving of the Chamber by Thomas Doney, with its careful attention to details of the room's architecture and furnishings, was an important source of information for the restoration. When the Senate moved to its current chamber in 1859, it took the original furniture with it. [12] In 2013, the Senate met in the Old Chamber to discuss changes to the rules of Senate filibusters. Washington's elite gathered to watch the impassioned oratory and the great compromises that took place in this Chamber. Few original furnishings were available for display in the restored Chamber, and thus many of the objects had to be reproduced based on historical evidence and informed conjecture. ", Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Emergency Planning, Preparedness, and Operations, Scene at the Signing of the Constitution of the United States, First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln, Westward the Course of Empire Takes Its Way, General George Washington Resigning His Commission. It was designed by architect Benjamin Henry Latrobe, and it is semicircular in shape, reflecting the appearance of an ancient amphitheater. The Philip A. Hart Senate Office Building is the third U.S. Senate office building, and is located on 2nd Street NE between Constitution Avenue NE and C Street NE in Washington, D.C., in the United States. However, perhaps the single most noteworthy incident in this room occurred on May 22, 1856, when abolitionist Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts was nearly caned to death at his desk by South Carolina Representative Preston Brooks.

The chamber was completed in 1810, after Architect of the Capitol Benjamin Henry Latrobe divided the original Senate chamber in the North wing into two rooms, one on the first floor and the other on the second. The beating nearly killed Sumner and it contributed significantly to the country's polarization over the issue of slavery. [1] In 1860, after the Senate moved to its current quarters, the Supreme Court moved upstairs into Old Senate Chamber, where it sat until the completion of the United States Supreme Court building in 1935. It was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1961, primarily for its association with Lincoln and his political rival Stephen Douglas. During this period, the Senate was embroiled in the great national debates of the 19th century, with slavery the dominant issue. (The original furniture was moved into the present Senate Chamber when the Senate first occupied it in 1859; much of it is still in use there.). The vacated meeting place was quickly claimed by the Supreme Court, which moved to the second-floor Chamber in 1860. Browse Old Senate Chamber pictures, photos, images, GIFs, and videos on Photobucket The gallery on the east wall is supported by eight Ionic columns of variegated marble quarried along the Potomac River; they were inspired by the columns of the Erechtheion in Athens. Among them are the passage of the 1820 Missouri Compromise, the 1830 Webster–Hayne debate, and the Webster-Clay-Calhoun debates over the Compromise of 1850. Construction began in 1808 and the Senate moved into the space 2 years later. [1], Behind the last row of desks is a low paneled wall separating the center of the chamber from a visitors' area (the third visitor area in the chamber, along with the two visitors' galleries). Designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, this room was home to the U.S. Senate from 1819 until 1859 and later to the U.S. Supreme Court from 1860-1935. Added during the 1850s expansion of the Capitol, it serves as an office for the Vice President when they are in the Capitol. Two other mantels on the lobby's north and south ends are replicas, as the originals were replaced with stoves when the chamber was converted for the use of the Supreme Court of the United States. The Old Senate Chamber is a room in the United States Capitol that was the legislative chamber of the United States Senate from 1810 to 1859 and served as the Supreme Court chamber from 1860 until 1935. Today, the room remains in its restored appearance, and it is periodically used by the Senate for special events, such as mock swearing-in ceremonies. One exception is special circumstances calling for a more collegial atmosphere. This is the desk of the Vice President of the United States, who serves as President of the Senate. The Hayne-Webster debates of 1830, concerning the right of states to nullify federal laws, were staged here, as were the Webster-Clay-Calhoun debates of 1850. The Supreme Court Building houses the Supreme Court of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. It would go on to be used as the courtroom of the Supreme Court for the next 75 years, before its current building opened across the street from the Capitol in 1935. [1], The second gallery is the Ladies' Gallery, which follows the curved western wall and is much larger. The Senate met in the chamber on the morning of January 8, 1999 to deliberate rules for the impeachment trial of President Clinton; the procedures for the trial, brokered by Phil Gramm and Ted Kennedy, passed 100–0. In its original form, the Capitol consisted of two wings, connected by a central rotunda that was topped by a low wooden dome. As with the House chamber, this Senate chamber was rebuilt after the War of 1812, and the work was completed in 1819. Immediately behind the last row of desks is a low paneled wall that separates the Senators' space from a third visitors' area. Within less than five years, South Carolina would become the first state to secede from the Union, and it would begin the Civil War with its bombardment of Fort Sumter. Located north of the Capitol Rotunda is the richly decorated Old Senate Chamber. C-SPAN toured the Old Senate Chamber, where the body met from 1810-1859, is where the Senate grew in stature and became the primary forum for debating the issues of the day, including slavery. The new House chamber was completed in 1857, followed by the new Senate chamber in 1859. The first photo was taken around 1902, and it shows the room’s appearance when it was used by the Supreme Court. Many prominent Supreme Court justices served on the bench here in this room. [1], The chamber is overlooked by two visitors' galleries. It is the seat of the Vermont General Assembly. Existing ceiling beams were covered with fire-resistant material, and coffer ornaments were recast in plaster. The Senate met in this room from 1819 until its new chamber was ready in 1859.

The United States Bicentennial brought about the decision to restore the room to its antebellum appearance.

The United States grew rapidly during the 19th century, and the growing membership in Congress prompted an enlargement of the building during the 1850s. July 15, 2013 From C-SPAN's 2006 series "The Capitol", a look inside the Old Senate Chamber. Crimson drapery swags secured with gilt stars adorn the visitors' galleries. On May 4, 1987, the Supreme Court Building was designated a National Historic Landmark. The Caning of Charles Sumner, or the Brooks–Sumner Affair, occurred on May 22, 1856, in the United States Senate, when Representative Preston Brooks, a pro-slavery Democrat from South Carolina, used a walking cane to attack Senator Charles Sumner, an abolitionist Republican from Massachusetts, in retaliation for a speech given by Sumner two days earlier in which he fiercely criticized slaveholders, including a relative of Brooks. The gallery has a "wrought-iron balcony railing [that] follows the contour of the gallery and is backed by crimson fabric that accentuates the decorative metalwork." It was designed in Neoclassical style and is elaborately decorated.

[3] [9] [10] [11] In 2007, newly elected Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid called a bipartisan session in the Chamber in what was called a "private moment of bonding." A central, semicircular skylight is bordered by five smaller circular skylights; they originally provided the Chamber with natural light but are now artificially lit. The domed, white-painted ceiling of the Chamber is elaborately coffered and enriched by decorative moldings. [1], A glass screen between the dais and a small lobby allowed Senators to relax but remain within earshot of the floor. The current Greek Revival structure is the third building on the same site to be used as the State House. A second and much larger "Ladies' Gallery" follows the curved western wall. The eagle and shield were also reunited as part of this restoration, and they once again hang at the front of the room. It was built in the Greek Revival style in 1837–1840, and served as the state house from 1840 to 1876. The site was directly across First Street NE from the Capitol, on the spot where the Old Capitol Prison had previously stood. Probably the only object left from the Senate in that photo is the gilded wood eagle, located in the center above the chief justice’s chair.

When the court first moved here in 1860, the chief justice was Roger B. Taney, who had served in that capacity since 1836.

The Old Senate Chamber is considered one of the oldest parts of the U.S. Capitol Building. The carpet pattern was derived from contemporary illustrations of the Chamber, as was the design for the oil- burning chandelier, which was electrified for practical reasons but designed to simulate the glow of oil illumination. Using the due process clauses of the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments, the court struck down many state and federal laws, including those that limited weekly working hours, prohibited child labor, and established minimum wages. [1], Radiating off the dais are desks and chairs for 64 Senators, which was the number of Senators at the time the Senate moved to its current quarters. The Maryland State House is located in Annapolis, Maryland as the oldest U.S. state capitol in continuous legislative use, dating to 1772 and housing the Maryland General Assembly, plus the offices of the Governor and Lieutenant Governor. In 1810—the same year the Supreme Court moved into the lower floor—the Senate moved into the second-story chamber. The south wing was occupied by the House of Representatives, which met in the chamber that is now known as Statuary Hall. The United States Capitol was first used in 1800, the same year that the government moved to Washington D.C. from its temporary location in Philadelphia. After the September 11 attacks in 2001, the chamber was closed to tourists for almost two years due to security concerns; [3] tour groups would have to pass close to the current Senate chamber and the office of then-Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist. The room was built with two visitor galleries, with one along the curved wall behind the senators, and the other above the front of the room, as shown in this scene. By this point, he had suffered serious trauma to his head and spinal cord, and it took three years before he had recovered enough to resume his duties in the Senate. Directly above the east gallery hangs an 1823 "porthole" portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale, who had painted Washington from life. This portrait was purchased in 1832, the centennial of Washington's birth, for display in the Chamber. Even as the nation was dividing, though, the Capitol itself was growing.


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