Summer lecture outlines what led to the construction of one of Washington’s grand buildings
The Court of Neptune, the fountain at the front of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress, gets a cleaning in May. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)
The Library of Congress is one of the most ornate buildings in Washington, but its story isn’t nearly as magnificent as the structure — it was once extensive, complex, accident-prone, and outgrew its original home in the Capitol.
The United States Capitol Historical Society is focusing its summer lecture series this month on that story. To kick it off last week, Janice McKelvey, an LOC visitor services coordinator, traced the history of the library’s spaces in the Capitol, and discussed architectural and artistic similarities between those and its present home in the Thomas Jefferson Building.