The James Madison Memorial Building is one of three United States Capitol Complex buildings that house the Library of Congress. The building was constructed from 1971 to 1976, and serves as the official memorial to President James Madison. It is located between First and Second Streets SE on Independence Avenue, in Washington, DC.
With the help of former Librarian of Congress Lawrence Quincy Mumford, plans for a third Library of Congress building were started in 1957. Congress appropriated planning funds for the structure in 1960, and construction was approved by an act of Congress on October 19, 1965 that authorized an appropriation of $75 million. The architect was John George Stewart (1890–1970, Architect of the Capitol. Excavation and foundation work began in June 1971, and work on the superstructure was completed in 1976. The cornerstone, inscribed with the date 1974, was laid on March 8, 1974. Dedication ceremonies were held on April 24, 1980, and the building actually opened on May 28, 1980. It was decided to name the building after Madison largely because he was the person who originally suggested in 1783 that the Continental Congress form a library containing a list of books that would be useful to legislators.
The Architect of the Capitol was charged with the responsibility for the construction of the Madison Building under the direction of the Senate and House Building Commissions and the Joint Committee on the Library. The Madison building was originally designed and constructed with the intent to store books, and only after completion did they decide to use the building as office space for Library of Congress officials. These bodies also consulted with a committee appointed by the American Institute of Architects and the James Madison Memorial Commission. The total authorization for construction eventually was increased to $130.675 million.
Designed by the firm of DeWitt, Poor, and Shelton Associated Architects, the James Madison Memorial Building is one of the three largest public buildings in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area (along with The Pentagon and the F.B.I.’s J. Edgar Hoover Building). The building contains 2.1 million square feet (200,000 m2) with 1.5 million feet (460,000 m) of assignable space.
On January 6, 2021, at 1:11 PM EST, the Madison Building and the Cannon House Office Building were the first buildings in the Capitol Complex to be ordered to evacuate as rioters breached security perimeters before storming the Capitol building. It is unclear if rioters breached the Madison Building or if the evacuation order was proactive.
The Madison Building is home to many of the reading rooms of the Library of Congress:
The United States Capitol, often called the Capitol Building, is the meeting place 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 is a chamber in the United States Capitol devoted to sculptures of prominent Americans. The hall, also known as the Old Hall of the House, is a large, two-story, semicircular room with a second story gallery along the curved perimeter. It is located immediately south of the Rotunda. The meeting place of the U.S. House of Representatives for nearly 50 years (1807–1857), after a few years of disuse in 1864 it was repurposed as a statuary hall; this is when the National Statuary Hall Collection was established. By 1933 the collection had outgrown this single room, and a number of statues are placed elsewhere within the Capitol.
The Cannon House Office Building, often called the "Old House Office Building," completed in 1908, is the oldest congressional office building as well as a significant example of the Beaux-Arts style of architecture. It occupies a site south of the United States Capitol bounded by Independence Avenue, First Street, New Jersey Avenue, and C Street S.E. In 1962 the building was named for former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Joseph Gurney Cannon.
Sterling Memorial Library (SML) is the main library building of the Yale University Library system in New Haven, Connecticut, United States. Opened in 1931, the library was designed by James Gamble Rogers as the centerpiece of Yale's Gothic Revival campus. The library's tower has sixteen levels of bookstacks containing over 4 million volumes. Several special collections—including the university's Manuscripts & Archives—are also housed in the building. It connects via tunnel to the underground Bass Library, which holds an additional 150,000 volumes.
The history of Washington, D.C., is tied to its role as the capital of the United States. Originally inhabited by an Algonquian-speaking people known as the Nacotchtank, the site of the District of Columbia along the Potomac River was first selected by President George Washington. The city came under attack during the War of 1812 in an episode known as the Burning of Washington. Upon the government's return to the capital, it had to manage reconstruction of numerous public buildings, including the White House and the United States Capitol. The McMillan Plan of 1901 helped restore and beautify the downtown core area, including establishing the National Mall, along with numerous monuments and museums.
The United States Capitol Police (USCP) is a federal law enforcement agency in the United States charged with protecting the United States Congress within the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its territories. It answers to Congress, not the President of the United States, and is the only full-service federal law enforcement agency responsible to the legislative branch of the Federal Government of the United States.
The Sergeant at Arms and Doorkeeper of the United States Senate is the highest-ranking federal law enforcement officer in the Senate of the United States. The Sergeant at Arms is also the executive officer for the Senate and provides senators with computers, equipment, and repair and security services. The office of the Sergeant at Arms of the Senate has between 800 and 900 staff.
The Robert A. Taft Memorial and Carillon is a carillon dedicated as a memorial to U.S. Senator Robert Alphonso Taft, son of President William Howard Taft.
The United States Capitol Complex is a group of twenty buildings and facilities in Washington, D.C., that are used by the U.S. Federal government. The buildings and grounds within the complex are managed and supervised by the architect of the Capitol.
The oldest of the four United States Library of Congress buildings, the Thomas Jefferson Building was built between 1890 and 1897. It was originally known as the Library of Congress Building and is located on First Street SE, between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street in Washington, D.C. The Beaux-Arts style building is known for its classicizing facade and elaborately decorated interior. Its design and construction has a tortuous history; the building's main architect was Paul J. Pelz, initially in partnership with John L. Smithmeyer, and succeeded by Edward Pearce Casey during the last few years of construction. The building was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1965.
The John Adams Building is the second oldest of the four buildings of the Library of Congress of the United States. It is named for John Adams, the second president, who signed the law creating the Library of Congress. The building is in the Capitol Hill district of Washington D.C. next to the Library's main building. It opened to the public on January 3, 1939, and was long known as The Annex building. The annex was built in a restrained but very detailed Art Deco style and faced in white Georgia marble. It is located on Second Street SE between Independence Avenue and East Capitol Street in Washington, DC.
The Law Library of Congress is the law library of the United States Congress. The Law Library of Congress holds the single most comprehensive and authoritative collection of domestic, foreign, and international legal materials in the world. Established in 1832, its collections are currently housed in the James Madison Memorial Building of the Library of Congress. Law staff rely on and utilize 2.9 million bound volumes of primary legal sources, 102.18 million microforms, 99,000 reels of microfilm, 3.18 million pieces of microfiche, and 15,600 tangible electronic resources, making it is the largest law library in the world.
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".
The United States Senate Library is the library of the United States Senate.
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.
The Mary Pickford Theater, named in honor of silent film star Mary Pickford, is the "motion picture and television reading room" of the United States' Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. It is on the third floor of the Library of Congress Madison building in downtown Washington. The theater screens classic and contemporary movies and television shows, often organized by theme. All screenings are free, though reservations must be made, as the theater accommodates only 64 people.
The United States Capitol dome is the dome situated above the rotunda of the United States Capitol. The dome is 288 feet (88 m) in height and 96 feet (29 m) in diameter. It was designed by Thomas U. Walter, the fourth Architect of the Capitol, and constructed between 1855 and 1866 at a cost of $1,047,291.
The Library of Congress (LC) is the research library that officially serves the United States Congress and is the de facto national library of the United States. It is the oldest federal cultural institution in the United States. The library is housed in three buildings on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C.; it also maintains a conservation center in Culpeper, Virginia. The library's functions are overseen by the librarian of Congress, and its buildings are maintained by the architect of the Capitol. The Library of Congress is one of the largest libraries in the world. Its "collections are universal, not limited by subject, format, or national boundary, and include research materials from all parts of the world and in more than 450 languages."
George Malcolm White FAIA was an American architect who served as the Architect of the Capitol from January 27, 1971 to November 21, 1995.
On January 6, 2021, rioters supporting United States President Donald Trump's attempts to overturn the 2020 presidential election stormed the United States Capitol. After breaching multiple police perimeters, they damaged, ransacked, and occupied parts of the building for several hours. The death of a police officer defending the Capital is being investigated as a homicide. The storming led to evacuation and lockdown of the Capitol building, and it disrupted a joint session of Congress assembled to count the electoral votes and formalize Joe Biden's election victory. The rioters gathered in support of President Trump's persistent and false claims that the 2020 election had been "stolen" from him, which were part of his months-long effort to overturn his electoral defeat. Summoned by Trump, thousands of supporters gathered in Washington, D.C. on January 5 and 6 to demand that Vice President Mike Pence and Congress reject Biden's victory.
Huxtable, Ada Louise, "The Madison Memorial Library: Full Speed Backward," New York Times (Sept. 24, 1967)
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