The Hall of Columns is a more than 100-foot-long (30 m) hallway lined with twenty-eight fluted columns in the south wing extension of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. It is also the gallery for eighteen statues of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
A column or pillar in architecture and structural engineering is a structural element that transmits, through compression, the weight of the structure above to other structural elements below. In other words, a column is a compression member. The term column applies especially to a large round support with a capital and a base or pedestal which is made of stone, or appearing to be so. A small wooden or metal support is typically called a post, and supports with a rectangular or other non-round section are usually called piers. For the purpose of wind or earthquake engineering, columns may be designed to resist lateral forces. Other compression members are often termed "columns" because of the similar stress conditions. Columns are frequently used to support beams or arches on which the upper parts of walls or ceilings rest. In architecture, "column" refers to such a structural element that also has certain proportional and decorative features. A column might also be a decorative element not needed for structural purposes; many columns are "engaged", that is to say form part of a wall.
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the home of the United States Congress and the seat of the legislative branch of the U.S. federal government. It is located on Capitol Hill at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Though no longer at the geographic center of the Federal District, the Capitol forms the origin point for the District's street-numbering system and the District's four quadrants.
The National Statuary Hall Collection in the United States Capitol is composed of statues donated by individual states to honor persons notable in their history. Limited to two statues per state, the collection was originally set up in the old Hall of the House of Representatives, which was then renamed National Statuary Hall. The expanding collection has since been spread throughout the Capitol and its Visitor's Center.
The "Hall of Columns" emerged as part of the necessitated expansion of the north and south Capitol wings in the mid-nineteenth century due to the increased numbers of elected Senators and Representatives (also known as "congressmen") with the continued expansion of the United States westward and admission of more states to the Union from their previous status as Territories, now standing of 34. The original chambers of the U.S. House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate had become too crowded with the additional senators and representatives. Under the guidance of the then fourth Architect of the Capitol Thomas U. Walter, plans were drawn up to expand the two sides ("wings") in the previous original central block of the Capitol (also location of the rotunda and low copper-covered dome above it from the original Capitol architects: William Thornton, followed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe and Charles Bulfinch architectural designs beginning in 1793) and build new, larger chambers with additional rooms and offices for both houses.
Territories of the United States are sub-national administrative divisions overseen by the federal government. They differ from U.S. states and Native American tribes, which have limited sovereignty. The territories are classified by incorporation and whether they have an "organized" government through an organic act passed by Congress.
The United States House of Representatives is the lower chamber of the United States Congress, the Senate being the upper chamber. Together they compose the legislature of the United States.
The United States Senate is the upper chamber of the United States Congress, which along with the United States House of Representatives—the lower chamber—comprises the legislature of the United States. The Senate chamber is located in the north wing of the Capitol, in Washington, D.C.
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 well known local foundry Hayward, Bartlett, and Co.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, designed by artist Constantino Brumidi), but were eventually replaced in the 1920s 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.
Cast iron is a group of iron-carbon alloys with a carbon content greater than 2%. Its usefulness derives from its relatively low melting temperature. The alloy constituents affect its colour when fractured: white cast iron has carbide impurities which allow cracks to pass straight through, grey cast iron has graphite flakes which deflect a passing crack and initiate countless new cracks as the material breaks, and ductile cast iron has spherical graphite "nodules" which stop the crack from further progressing.
Baltimore is the largest city in the state of Maryland within the United States. Baltimore was established by the Constitution of Maryland as an independent city in 1729. With a population of 602,495 in 2018, Baltimore is the largest such independent city in the United States. As of 2017, the population of the Baltimore metropolitan area was estimated to be just under 2.802 million, making it the 21st largest metropolitan area in the country. Baltimore is located about 40 miles (60 km) northeast of Washington, D.C., making it a principal city in the Washington-Baltimore combined statistical area (CSA), the fourth-largest CSA in the nation, with a calculated 2018 population of 9,797,063.
Marble is a metamorphic rock composed of recrystallized carbonate minerals, most commonly calcite or dolomite. Marble is typically not foliated, although there are exceptions. In geology, the term "marble" refers to metamorphosed limestone, but its use in stonemasonry more broadly encompasses unmetamorphosed limestone. Marble is commonly used for sculpture and as a building material.
The capitals of the columns are based on "Corinthian" styled columns, but adjusted to reflect an American style with the usage of thistles and native tobacco leaves in the cast iron.
The Corinthian order is the last developed of the three principal classical orders of ancient Greek and Roman architecture. The other two are the Doric order which was the earliest, followed by the Ionic order. When classical architecture was revived during the Renaissance, two more orders were added to the canon, the Tuscan order and the Composite order. The Corinthian, with its offshoot the Composite, is the most ornate of the orders. This architectural style is characterized by slender fluted columns and elaborate capitals decorated with acanthus leaves and scrolls. There are many variations.
Tobacco is a product prepared from the leaves of the tobacco plant by curing them. The plant is part of the genus Nicotiana and of the Solanaceae (nightshade) family. While more than 70 species of tobacco are known, the chief commercial crop is N. tabacum. The more potent variant N. rustica is also used around the world.
Francis Preston Blair Sr. was an American journalist, newspaper editor, and influential figure in national politics advising several U.S. presidents across the party lines.
Missouri is a state in the Midwestern United States. With over six million residents, it is the 18th-most populous state of the Union. The largest urban areas are St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia; the capital is Jefferson City. The state is the 21st-most extensive in area. In the South are the Ozarks, a forested highland, providing timber, minerals, and recreation. The Missouri River, after which the state is named, flows through the center of the state into the Mississippi River, which makes up Missouri's eastern border.
Alexander Doyle (1857–1922) was an American sculptor.
Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry was an American Democratic politician and diplomat who served as an officer of the Confederate States Army in the American Civil War.
The United States Capitol rotunda is the central rotunda of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., built 1818–1824. It is located below the Capitol dome, built 1857–1866; the later construction also extended the height of the rotunda walls. It is the tallest part of the Capitol and has been described as its "symbolic and physical heart."
Franklin Bachelder Simmons was a prominent American sculptor of the nineteenth century. Three of his statues are in the National Statuary Hall Collection, three of his busts are in the United States Senate Vice Presidential Bust Collection, and his statue of Ulysses S. Grant is in the United States Capitol Rotunda.
The United States Capitol crypt is the large circular room filled with forty neoclassical Doric columns directly beneath the United States Capitol rotunda. It was built originally to support the rotunda as well as offer an entrance to Washington's Tomb. It currently serves as a museum and a repository for thirteen statues of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
Francis Preston Blair Jr. is a marble sculpture depicting the American jurist, politician and soldier of the same name by Alexander Doyle, installed in the United States Capitol's Hall of Columns, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Missouri in 1899.
Norman Borlaug, or Dr. Norman E. Borlaug, is a bronze sculpture depicting the American agronomist and humanitarian of the same name by Benjamin Victor, installed in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was donated by the U.S. state of Iowa in 2014, and replaced one depicting James Harlan, which the state had gifted in 1910.
Eusebio Kino is a bronze sculpture depicting the Italian Jesuit, missionary, geographer, explorer, cartographer and astronomer of the same name by Suzanne Silvercruys, installed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Arizona in 1965.
Helen Keller is a bronze sculpture depicting the American author and political activist of the same name by Edward Hlavka, installed in the United States Capitol Visitor Center's Emancipation Hall, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Alabama in 2009, and replaced one depicting Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry, which had been donated in 1908.
George Clinton is an 1873 bronze sculpture depicting the American soldier and statesman of the same name by Henry Kirke Brown, installed in the United States Capitol, in Washington D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. It is one of two statues donated by the U.S. state of New York. The statue is one of three by Brown in the Collection.
Dwight D. Eisenhower is a bronze sculpture depicting the former U.S. president of the same name by Jim Brothers, installed in the U.S. Capitol's rotunda, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Kansas in 2003, and replaced one depicting George Washington Glick.
Gerald R. Ford is a bronze sculpture depicting the former American president of the same name by J. Brett Grill, installed at the United States Capitol's rotunda, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Michigan in 2011, and replaced one depicting Zachariah Chandler, which was donated in 1913.
James A. Garfield refers to two different sculptures depicting the American president of the same name by Charles Henry Niehaus. One is installed in Cincinnati, Ohio, and the other is installed at the United States Capitol's rotunda, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection.
James Zachariah George is a bronze sculpture depicting the politician and military officer of the same name by Henry Augustus Lukeman, installed at the United States Capitol's Visitor Center, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue was gifted by the U.S. state of Mississippi in 1931.
Philip Kearny is an 1888 bronze sculpture of Philip Kearny by Henry Kirke Brown, installed in the United States Capitol, in Washington, D.C., as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. It is one of two statues donated by the state of New Jersey. The statue portrays Kearny dressed in the uniform of a Civil War general, holding a sword in his right hand. His coat draped over his left shoulder covers the fact that his left arn had been amputated following the Battle of Churubusco.
Jabez Lamar Monroe Curry is a marble sculpture depicting the American politician and diplomat of the same name by Dante Sodini. The statue was gifted to the National Statuary Hall Collection from the state of Alabama in 1908, but was replaced by one depicting Helen Keller in 2009, and relocated to Samford University, where he had served as president from 1865-1868.
Zachariah Chandler is a statue depicting the politician of the same name by Charles Henry Niehaus, formerly installed in Washington, D.C., representing the U.S. state of Michigan in the National Statuary Hall Collection. In 2011, the statue was relocated to the atrium of Lansing's Constitution Hall, and replaced by another depicting Gerald Ford.
James Harlan is a bronze sculpture depicting American attorney and politician of the same name by Nellie Walker, formerly installed in Washington, D.C.'s United States Capitol, as part of the National Statuary Hall Collection. The statue, which was gifted by the U.S. state of Iowa in 1910, was replaced with one depicting Norman Borlaug in 2014.