Senate Meeting Places
Under the 1781 Articles of Confederation it was determined that New York City would serve as the temporary capital for the new Congress. Located in Federal Hall, just north of Battery on Wall Street, Congress would remain there until 1790 when members decided to locate the capital city along the Potomac River, in a district under federal control. It would be, however, another decade before Congress would finally arrive in Washington, D.C.
Philadelphia's Congress Hall housed Congress from December 1790 until May 1800. During Congress' time in Philadelphia, Congress Hall had to be renovated twice. The first renovation expanded the House Chamber to accommodate 40 additional House members. The second renovation took place when the Senate decided to open legislative sessions to the public.
President George Washington set the cornerstone of the Capitol in 1793, but it would be several more years before Congress moved to Washington. On November 21, 1800, meeting in the ground-floor room now restored as the Old Supreme Court Chamber, the Senate achieved its first quorum in Washington. In 1810 the Senate moved into what is now known as the Old Senate Chamber. It occupied this room for almost 50 years. As more states were added to the Union, the Senate needed an even larger chamber. Consequently, on January 4, 1859 it moved to the current Senate Chamber. In the 20th century, three office buildings were added to accommodate senators, staff, and committees.