The Senate Chamber desks are symbols of the Senate's past and present. We are pleased to provide a web exhibit which makes the rich history and traditions of the desks more accessible to senators, staff, and the public.
During the War of 1812, British troops burned the United States Capitol, destroying the Senate Chamber and its contents. In 1819, in an effort to replace what was lost, the Senate ordered the construction of 48 desks. Those 48 desks are still used by United States senators in today's Senate Chamber. Additional desks were built over the years to accommodate the senators from states newly accepted into the Union.
This exhibit details the desks' evolution and history by presenting an intimate view of the Senate. Also included are seating charts and past occupants lists, providing a resource for identifying the locations and desks of senators past and present.
The exhibit will be updated with each new Congress and with every change in desk occupancy.