United States Capitol Visitor Center

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Description

The United States Capitol Visitor Center is a large underground addition to the United States Capitol complex which serves as a gathering point for up to 4,000 tourists and an expansion space for the US Congress. It is located below the East Front of the Capitol and its plaza, between the Capitol building and 1st Street East. The complex contains 580000sqft of space below ground on three floors. The overall project's budget was $621 million.The CVC has space for use by the Congress, including multiple new meeting and conference rooms. On the House side, there is a large room which will most likely be used by a committee. The new Congressional Auditorium, a 450-seat theater, will be available for use by members of Congress or for either House of Congress should their respective chamber be unavailable.The CVC officially opened on December 2, 2008. This date was selected to coincide with the 145th anniversary of placing Thomas Crawford's Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol building in 1863, signifying the completion of construction of its dome.Design conceptThe CVC contains three under-ground levels: a balcony level entrance, the Emancipation Hall level and a third restricted level for new Congressional offices and meeting rooms. The construction of the CVC represents the largest-ever expansion of the United States Capitol and more than doubles the footprint of the US Capitol building complex.The American Institute of Architects awarded RTKL Associates Inc. with the Award of Exce

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