Unlike Florida Republican John L. Mica’s grandiose plan to clean house on the other side of the Capitol, Sen. Angus King had a much more modest desire: brighten up a little corner of Dirksen.
“I walk that corridor two or three times a day … and often wondered to myself, ‘Why is this blank?’” the Maine Independent said of the once-barren hallway leading up from the internal subway to the Senate office building.
Now inspired, King set out to seek a resolution to the featureless landscape members, staff and visitors were faced with each time they trekked over for a visit.
His first stop: the Senate Photo Studio.
“The response was, ‘You have to talk to the Rules Committee.’ And I said, ‘Great! I happen to know a guy there — me!’” King said.
Once he’d ironed out the particulars, a process King estimated took about six weeks — “Which, by Senate time, is lightning speed,” he quipped — he was given the green light to splash some color around.
The initial installation features 19 photos of very Washington scenes — Statuary Hall, the Lincoln Memorial and Arlington National Cemetery are represented, among others — captured by the dedicated Senate photographers over the years.
King said he originally lobbied to display vistas from around the nation (he mentioned wanting to see a Maine lighthouse and the Grand Canyon in there somewhere), but elected to start local.
Studio staff said rotating images in the future remains on the table, but stressed that when, and how frequently, any photo swaps happen is now up to King.