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bracing a recessed portico of ten coupled columns. The entire length of the Capitol is 751 feet 4 inches, and the greatest depth, including porticoes and steps, is 324 feet. The ground actually covered by the building, exclusive of the court-yards, is 153,112 square feet, or 652 feet over three and a half acres.
The material of which the extension is built, is a white marble slightly variegated with blue, and was procured from a quarry in Lee, Massachusetts. The columns are all of white marble obtained from Maryland.
The principal story of the Capitol rests upon a rustic basement, which supports an ordonnance of pilasters rising to the height of the two stories above. Upon these pilasters rests the entablature and beaụtiful frieze, and the whole is surmounted by a marble balustrade.
The main entrances are by the three eastern porticoes, being made easy of access by broad flights of stone steps with massive cheek-blocks, and vaulted carriage-ways beneath to the basement entrances.
The Dome.-Over the rotunda, in the centre of this huge pile, rises a magnificent cast-iron dome. The old dome was constructed of brick, stone, and wood, and sheathed with copper. Its height, inclusive of a circular wooden balustrade upon the top, was 145 feet from the ground. This was removed in 1856, and the present stupendous structure of iron is now taking its place. It was designed by T. U. Walter, the accomplished architect of the extension, and the castings made and erected in their places, by Janes, Beebe & Co., of New York city, who have accomplished in this work the noblest specimen of iron construction of which the world can boast, embody
ing all the most beautiful forms and proportions of classic architecture. The exterior presents a noble peristyle, 124 feet in diameter, of Auted columns 27 feet in height, resting upon an octagonal base or stylobate, which itself is 93 feet above the basement floor. The top of the entablature of the peristyle is at the height of 127 feet above the basement floor. From this entablature springs an attic 44 feet in height and 108 feet in diameter; and from the cornice of the attic, the great dome, of a semi-ellipsoidal form, rises to a height of 228 feet. The lantern on the top of this dome' is 17 feet in diameter, and 52 feet high, and will be crowned by a bronze statue of Liberty, by Crawford, 16 feet 6 inches in height, rising to the height of 300 feet above the basement floor of the building.
Architectural Sculpture.—The tympanum of the central pediment of the capitol is decorated with a group sculptured in alto-relievo, representing the Genius of America, crowned with a star, her right hand holding a shield, inscribed with the letters U. S. A., surrounded with a glory. The shield rests on an altar, bearing the memorable date, “ July 4, 1776,” within a wreath. Behind her stands a spear, and at her feet, the eagle. Her face is turned towards a figure of Hope, upon the left, whose attention she is directing, by her right hand, to a figure of Justice upon her right, holding the “ Constitution of the United States” upon a scroll, in her right hand, and the scales in her left. This group was executed by Signor Persico, and is said to have been designed by John Quincy Adams.
The northern pediment contains a group of sculpture by Thomas Crawford, representing the progress of civilization in the United States. In the centre of the tympanum stands a figure of America in the blaze of a rising
On her right are figures of the soldier, commerce, youth and education, the mechanic, and a sheaf of wheat, typical of agriculture. On her left are the pioneer back
woodsman, the hunter, the Indian and his squaw with an infant in her arms, sitting by a filled grave.
The southern pediment has not yet been filled, although it is understood that a design of the discovery by Columbus has been made for the purpose, by William R. Barbee, the Virginian sculptor. The subject is most appropriate, and no other can properly be substituted for it, since the adoption of the design by Crawford, in completing these most prominent decorations of the architecture. It is essential to commemorate the discovery of the country before we illustrate its progress.
Upon the cheek-blocks of the steps to the central portico, are two groups of statuary. On the north side, the early struggles of our pioneer settlers are symbolized in a group, by Horatio Greenough, representing a sturdy backwoodsman pinioning the arms of an Indian, who is about to dispatch, with his tomahawk, the wife and infant of the white man. A faithful dog stands ready to assist his master in time of need. This spirited work was erected in 1853. In the corresponding position opposite, the discovery of America is typified by Signor Persico, in a statue of Columbus presenting a globe in his hand, while an Indian maiden crouches by his side, gazing at him with mingled wonder and astonishment.