$621M Hill Visitor Center Opens

Building will accommodate tourists visiting Capitol
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 2, 2008 2:43 PM CST
Matthew Wodatch, 5, of Washington, looks at an exhibit about the Capitol's dome at United States Capitol Visitor Center today.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Congressional leaders spoke today at the opening of the Capitol Visitor Center, the Hill reports. The center, which was heavily delayed throughout its 6 years construction and cost a well-over-budget $621 million, will be the first stop for visitors to the Capitol, who previously had to wait in long lines outside in often-oppressive Washington heat.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi spoke of working on legislation to rename the center’s hall to Emancipation Hall. “That day we talked about the fact that the Capitol was built by slaves,” Pelosi said. “Today I want to talk about the fact that it’s so appropriate that this Capitol Visitor Center is ready for 2009, which is the 200th anniversary of the birth of Abraham Lincoln, the Great Emancipator.” (Read more Capitol Hill stories.)