Summerhouse, U.S. Capitol
Construction on this hexagonal brick structure that is built into the sloping hillside of the front lawn of the Senate side of the Capitol began in 1879. The building was part of Frederick Law Olmsted's plan to improve the Capitol Grounds, a task that he had been appointed to by Congress five years prior. Dubbed the Summerhouse, the hexagon building was a response to parched and overheated visitors to the capitol and featured shady spaces and water fountains along with wrought-iron gates and decorative landscaping. The Summerhouse utilized an open-air design to maximize breezes while the benches are covered and protected from the sun and rain.
Backstory and Context