Russell Senate Office Building Overview

The Russell Senate Office Building opened on March 5, 1909. It was the first building erected exclusively for use of the United States Senate, providing offices for its members, hearing rooms for its committees, and work space for its support staff. It was designed by the famous New York firm of Carrère & Hastings and, along with its counterpart for the House of Representatives, frames the Capitol with a respectful background. The principal elevations are faced with Vermont marble while Indiana limestone was used to face the courtyard walls. Much more marble was used on the public spaces inside. Originally all of the nation's 92 senators were accommodated in the building, but it was enlarged in 1933 with 28 office suites in the First Street addition. Senators were provided with a reception room, a private office, a lavatory and a closet. Committees were accommodated with large rooms with a central table where members could face witnesses on the opposite side. Staff rooms and chairman's offices were provided nearby. The building also had a telegraph office, a restaurant, a gym, and other facilities. It contains over 735,000 square feet.