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Bookends — Pic of the Week

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I work in a building on an opposite corner from the United States Capitol Building. The Capitol Building is truly a beautiful and monumental structure; a place where many of the civic events of our national government, such as the recent inauguration are held. It so happens that I have two pieces of the Capitol in my office. This does not mean that I’m a vandal! Let me explain.

Many modifications to the building have been made since 1800. The building was rebuilt after it was burned by the British in 1814, as a part of the Chesapeake campaign  during the War of 1812. During the middle of the nineteenth century new wings were built for the Senate and House, and the wings were joined by a rotunda. As the Civil War was beginning an expansion was once again under way with plans for a larger rotunda, and a new dome which was to be capped with a Statue of Freedom.  Reconstruction of an older and working building of this nature is an ongoing process; in 2016 the restoration of the Capitol dome, which was needed due to the stress on the interior cast iron, was completed.

In the late 1950s and early 1960s the Capitol’s East front was restored and expanded.  The East front is where most Inaugurations were held until 1980.  During this process some of the original building materials, such as the original Corinthian columns and some of the Aquila Creek sandstone were replaced. The Corinthian columns were eventually relocated to the National Arboretum. The sandstone was later made available for sale to the public on a limited basis. In 1977, when I was in Washington, I purchased a pair of bookends made from the sandstone for my father’s Christmas present. I now have them in my office where they remind me of the rich history of our country’s Capitol. This is a picture of the bookends.


  1. Nice photo of the bookends, which are a wonderful piece of national history and your personal history. The story helps me picture your daily work life, too!

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