The Capitol Visitor Center will open Dec. 2, Congressional leaders announced Thursday.
The date is significant because it was on Dec. 2, 1863, that the Statue of Freedom was placed atop the Capitol to signify that the Dome was completed, according to a press release. A plaster model of the statue will be placed in the CVC, connecting the two achievements.
The connection between the Capitol Building and the new Capitol Visitor Center is natural and powerful, said Stephen Ayers, acting Architect of the Capitol. We look forward to the historic opening of the Visitor Center on the historic day of December 2.
The announcement comes after years of cost overruns and shifting timelines for the $621 million CVC, which will provide a visitor entrance and extra Congressional workspace.
In the past year, the cost of the center has stayed constant, and CVC officials have repeatedly expressed their confidence that the center will be completed by November.
The lingering issue is how visitors will actually get to the CVC entrance. With the tightening of security after Sept. 11, 2001, Capitol Police have prohibited tour buses from stopping so close the Capitol.