Under His Hat | Discovering Lincoln's Story From Primary Sources
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Capitol Building U.S. Capitol Building In the years leading up to the Civil War, as the nation expanded rapidly with the addition of new states and an ever-growing population, it was decided in the early 1850s to expand the size of the U.S Capitol building. This addition, though necessary, fueled the removal of the capitol's originial green-copper dome that had been completed in 1823 since it was no longer asthetically pleasing on the now- larger structure. Construction of the new dome began in 1855 and would take 11 years to complete as minor changes, cost overruns, and the war delayed its construction. President Lincoln's first inaugural address would be delivered under the shadow of an uncompleted building, ringed with scaffolding and construction cranes.




Did You Know? Although Lincoln ordered that work on the Dome continue despite the War, he was unable to attend the ceremony in the Capitol in December 1863 when it was completed: he had just returned from Gettysburg and was sick in bed.