Incredibly Rare 1860s Photo of Capitol Dome Construction

This very rare photo of the Capitol Dome under construction shows it as it looked during the early days of the Civil War.

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Capito Dome under construction in 1860s
Capito Dome under construction in 1860s

Source: Library of Congress

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  • AERzondzinska

    Thank you for bringing to life a view President Abraham Lincoln commented on in his diary, seen through the window of his bedroom on the second floor of the country home he escaped to frequently during half the year throughout his presidency. Lincoln wrote that seeing the ongoing construction of the dome during the Civil War gave him hope that the nation would endure. This view today is threatened by construction of 13-story office buildings as part of the proposed development at McMillan Park. The National Capital Planning Commission, charged with protecting Federal sites and sights of the Nation’s Capital, chose to believe testimony of developer VMP’s architect, who claimed that the view was already blocked, over testimony of the director of Lincoln’s Cottage, who seeks to protect the view for the tens of thousands of visitors who make pilgrimages to the Cottage every year. It is a mystery to me why the members of the NCPC couldn’t resolve the conflict by simply crossing town to see for themselves.