There are “Elf” Doors in the Capitol Hill Building

No, they're not for elves.


If you want to learn more about the American history and spend a fun day outside then visiting the Capitol Hill in Washington DC would be just the right thing to do.

Among all those museums, libraries and other amusing things you can stumble upon, the most unusual of all are the tiny doors placed throughout the entire place. Each of these doors has a distinctive color and they are so small that no person can walk through them. So when Rebecca Rainey, a reporter for Independent Journal Review posted a picture of them on the social media it made people wonder what these doors’ purpose might be. Many even joked how they are specially designed for tiny elves to be able to run from one room to another.


One follower wrote:

“True story: they had these doors installed for the Keebler Elf. Now that he’s not in the Senate anymore, who knows what they’ll be used for.”

No matter how great the story about the elves sounds, they actually have another purpose. Rebecca felt as though she needed to learn the story behind them and share it with all those people whose curiosity she had awoken.

As it turns out, the miniature doors were installed after a fire ripped through the Capitol building back on Christmas Eve in 1851.


Back in 1851, the building was the home of the Library of Congress and with that a place where the most important historic collections and documents were kept. These included Thomas Jefferson’s personal collection of written work.

On Christmas Eve day of 1951, the place caught on fire and the library suffered the most, mainly because there wasn’t access to water in that part of the building. John Jones, the security guard who first took notice of the fire rushed downstairs to get some water, but by the time he got back the fire swallowed the library.

Brave firefighters from seven fire stations managed to put out the flames, but the consequences were devastating. Two-thirds of Jefferson collection was gone along with other priceless materials.

The main reason for this extent of damage was the fact that John Jones didn’t have an easy access to water.

Taking note of Jones’ report, the Army Corps of Engineers built the tiny doors to conceal the newly installed water faucets that were accessible throughout the entire Capitol Building.

They are also used for the janitors to fill the buckets with water.

What did you think these tiny doors were? Share your opinions in the comment section below.