Timing Crucial in Capitol Hill Visitor Center Debut

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It is a nice bit of historic symmetry for the long-awaited opening of the new Capitol Visitor Center.

The $621 million underground center will be opened to the public on Dec. 2, the 145th anniversary of the placement of the final sections of the Statue of Freedom atop the inspiring Capitol dome in 1863, during the Civil War.

“The connection between the Capitol building and the new Capitol Visitor Center is natural and powerful,” said Stephen T. Ayers, the acting architect of the Capitol, in announcing the date of the opening after years of delays.

The date is meaningful in another way: It pushes the opening of the center past Nov. 4, much to the relief of many on Capitol Hill.

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