You Won’t See the Capitol Like This Ever Again

This photo of the Capitol Building from the 1960s is something you’ll never see again. The Capitol Dome under construction and a lot of cars parked out in front of it.

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Capitol Building and a lot of cars parked in front of it in the 1960s
Capitol Building and a lot of cars parked in front of it in the 1960s


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  • Smiller57

    Not just the dome but also the extension of the east front.

  • Smiller57

    And of course, you mean renovation, not construction, for the done.

  • Sheila

    That really is a fantastic photo of the capital. Not only is it so different than what it is today, but I love the cars too. I remember so many of the old ones back then. We had a 1948 Chevy until 1957 and almost everyone had an old car until about 1957-59, but even then, there were the oldies out there for some time. Years ago everyone used to sit on the lawn of the Capital and have lunch, it was a wonderful place to cool off in the summer.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    The Capital is almost like that right now. It has scaffolding around the dome as they are now doing renovations.

  • Popeye D. Saylorman

    This is 1960. The newest car I see is a 60 Chevy Impala. The oldest car I see is a 47 Dodge.

  • Publius Washingtoniensis

    How strange it seems to see the Capitol Plaza filled with cars, but it was until well into the 70s, maybe later. On weekends and during recess, the Capitol Police let anyone park on the plaza — imagine driving up w/ some tourist friends, parking on the plaza, and walking right up the stairs into the rotunda — passing one or two friendly Capitol Police officers and no questions asked. Seems like a forgotten age in the distant past.

    • Paddy Wacker

      Publius – I have done exactly as you described with members of my family in the 60’s. I drove my Aunt and Cousin’s one day, parked and hoped out, then took a couple of photos of them on the Capitol steps. I also remember at that time you could drive down East Executive Drive just 20 or s0 yards from the White House.

  • Kathleen

    I grew up on either side of the Potomac; my Dad was stationed at the Pentagon and I vaguely remember sights like this. Or being able to drive right up to the Lincoln Memorial or the Washington monument. Imagine always walking up and down the steps of the Washington Monument?! You could pay a dime to take the elevator but on a military man’s salary, and being one of 6 children, we walked. Oh the things people now miss being restricted to the elevator. These were the good ole days.