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The Capitol, looking toward the East Front. It is on the central portico of this front that inauguration ceremonies take place. The corner stone of the Capitol was laid by George Washington in 1793. The North Wing was completed in 1800 and became the seat of government immediately. The central port was begun in 1818, under the direction of the famous American architect, Charles Bullfinch. The extensions were begun in 1851 and completed in 1859.