Hall of Columns

Hall of Columns

The Hall of Columns is a more than one hundred foot long hallway lined with twenty-eight fluted columns in the south wing extension of the United States Capitol. It is also the gallery for eighteen statues of the National Statuary Hall Collection.


The Hall of Columns emerged as part of the necessitated expansion of the north and south wings in the mid-nineteenth century due to the expansion of the United States westward and addition of more states to the union. The original chambers of the House of Representatives and the Senate had become too crowded with the additional senators and representatives. Under the guidance of Architect of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter, plans were drawn up to expand the two wings and build new, larger chambers for both houses. [ [http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/capitol_construction.cfm Architect of the Capitol (AoC) site on Capitol Construction history.] ] Built directly beneath the Chamber of the House of Representatives, construction had begun sometime before 1855, with the implementation of a cast iron ceiling, forged in Baltimore by the foundry Hayward, Bartlett, and Co. [ [http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/hall_of_columns.cfm AoC site on Hall of Columns.] ] The walls, themselves, were made with an imitation marble known as scagliola. The floor was set with imported encaustic Minton tiles from England (the same still found in the Brumidi Corridors), but were eventually replaced in the 1920's with a floor of Alabama and New York marble. By 1856, all the columns, made from marble quarried from Lee, Massachusetts, were finished and set in place. [ [http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/hall_of_columns.cfm AoC site on Hall of Columns.] ]

The capitals of the columns are based on Corinthian columns, but adjusted to reflect an American style with the usage of thistles and native tobacco leaves. [ [http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/hall_of_columns.cfm AoC site on Hall of Columns.] ]

National Statuary Hall Collection

*Francis Preston Blair from Missouri, in marble by Alexander Doyle in 1899.
*Charles Carroll from Maryland, in bronze, by Richard E. Brooks in 1903.
*Zachariah Chandler from Michigan, in marble, by Charles H. Niehaus in 1913.
*Jacob Collamer from Vermont, in marble, by Preston Powers in 1881.
*Jabez L. M. Curry from Alabama, in marble, by Dante Sodini in 1908.
*James Z. George from Mississippi, in bronze, by Augustus Lukeman in 1931.
*Nathanael Greene from Rhode Island, in marble, by Henry Kirke Brown in 1870.
*Ernest Gruening from Alaska, in bronze, by George Anthonisen in 1977.
*James Harlan from Iowa, in bronze, by Nellie V. Walker in 1910.
*Mother Joseph from Washington, in bronze, by Felix W. de Weldon in 1980.
*Philip Kearny from New Jersey, in bronze, by Henry Kirke Brown in 1888.
*John E. Kenna from West Virginia, in marble, by Alexander Doyle in 1901.
*Thomas Starr King from California, in bronze, by Haig Patigian in 1931.
*Eusebio Kino from Arizona, in marble, by Suzanne Silvercruys in 1965.
*Julius Sterling Morton from Nebraska, in bronze, by Rudulph Evans in 1937.
*James Shields from Illinois, in bronze, by Leonard W. Volk in 1893.
*Edmund Kirby Smith from Florida, in bronze, by C. Adrian Pillars in 1922.
*Joseph Ward from South Dakota, in marble, by Bruno Beghé in 1963.
*Sarah Winnemucca from Nevada, in bronze, by Benjamin Victor in 2005.
*John Winthrop from Massachusetts, in marble, by Richard S. Greenough in 1876.


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