Articles From May 2011
Navigating Capitol Hill is hard. Signs and room numbers don’t always make sense. Tunnels and long marble halls throw off the even the best senses of direction. Constituents in town for a quick fly-ins, Capitol Hill Interns arriving soon for the summer, POPVOX wants to help!
The most popular POPVOX blog posts that people (read: Congressional staffers) seem to keep coming back to are those in the Hill 101 category. Whether it’s an explanation of why r evenue measures must originate in the House or what the heck the bells and buzzers mean on the Capitol Hill clocks, let’s face it, it’s sometimes tough to find a simple explanation of the things that make Capitol Hill so mysterious.
When I was a staffer I had a recurring, terrible nightmare that I was lost in the sub-basement of the Rayburn building and whether I took escalators up or down, they just led to more, eternal sub-basement - which incidentally, is now even listed as a venue on FourSquare. (At least if you check in, they will know where to find you if you don’t make it back.) But it's not just Rayburn. Here's a few wayfinding tips..
1 ) AWESOME MAP : Start with this masterpiece of an interactive map of the Capitol Complex from Architect of the Capitol. 2) ROOM NUMBERS: They are actually set up to help you know which building you need, but only if you know the code: HOUSE SIDE:
- Three numbers = Cannon House Office Building (CHOB) . The first number indicates the floor; "B" in front means "Basement"
- Four numbers, starting with a 1 = L ongworth House Office Building (LHOB) . The second number indicates the floor; "G" is the ground floor, with 0 as the second digit. (So 1105 is on the first floor, 1035 is on the ground floor; and a"B" in front means "Basement"
- Four numbers, starting with a 2 = Rayburn House Office Building (RHOB) . The second number indicates the floor; "B" in front means "Basement" "SB" in front means "Sub-Basement"
SENATE SIDE (slightly easier) - indicated by "S" and a letter indicating the building, and room number. So, SD-101 is Room 101 in the Dirksen Building (DSOB) . "SH-" indicates the Hart Building (HSOB) and "SR-" is for Russell (RSOB) . CAPITOL BUILDING - Rooms start with "H" or "S" to indicate whether they are on the House or Senate-side of the Capitol. Single digits (H1, H2, H3) are in the basement; three-digit numbers indicate floor; so H-101 is on the first floor; H-201 is on the second. Unrelated but really cool: check out the 360-degree virtual tours of the Senate and House by the AOC: 3) TUNNELS & SHORTCUTS: The Hill has such great breakdown of the tunnels... and UrbanTrekker has some nice photos . The most important thing to know about the tunnels is that the quickest shortcut from the House to the Senate side (and vice-versa) is through the Capitol Visitors Center.
So much more could be said... Staffers and former staffers, add your tips in comments!
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(For media inquiries, please contact Marci Harris, POPVOX’s CEO, at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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