Heard on the Hill

Google ‘Prematurely’ Renames Russell Senate Office Building for McCain

Colleagues are debating renaming Senate’s oldest office building to honor McCain

On a map of the U.S. Capitol area, what is now the Russell Senate Office Building has been renamed “McCain Senate Office Building.” If you hover over the location, however, the pop-up still shows it as Russell. (Screenshot from Google Maps)

Updated 12:20 with Google’s response: While it’s still being debated in Congress, Google appears to have gone ahead and renamed the Russell Senate Office Building the “McCain Senate Office Building” to honor the late Sen. John McCain.

If you hover over the “McCain” label, a pop-up that reads “Russell Senate Office Building” appears. If you click on the label, information about Russell appears in a panel on the left side of the map with no mention of McCain.

A representative for Google said it was looking into the “premature” change. The original name began to show up in some browsers after noon.

“We empower people to contribute their local knowledge to the map, but we recognize that there may be occasional inaccuracies or premature changes suggested by users. When this happens, we work to address as quickly as possible. We have implemented a fix for this issue that is rolling out now,” the representative said in a statement to Roll Call.


The Russell Senate Office Building is the Senate’s oldest office building and is named for former Georgia Democratic Sen. Richard Russell, who had pro-segregationist views.

After McCain’s death on Saturday, several of his colleagues proposed renaming the building to honor his service. Minority Leader Charles E. Schumer is leading the effort, along with Arizona Republican Jeff Flake.

But the proposal has met resistance. Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., said he didn’t support the effort.

“If you want to get into that, you have to get into George Washington and Thomas Jefferson and all of our Founding Fathers — most of our Founding Fathers, maybe with the exception of Hamilton,” said Shelby, referring to the fact that so many of the Founding Fathers owned slaves.

Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said he would form a bipartisan panel to discuss options to honor McCain.

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