The original designer of this world class landmark was William Thornton, a physician by trade. The cornerstone was laid by George Washington in 1793 and the building was completed seven years later. Its original beauty did not last long. During the War of 1812, in what must have been a most satisfying act of retaliation against their former colony, British troops set fire to the magnificent new Capitol Building and gutted its interior. Following the war, starting in 1818, Charles Bulfinch rebuilt the damaged building and added the Rotunda and West Central Portico. Tomas U. Walter later completed the North and South Wings in the 1850s and finally added the world-famous dome in 1863. This dome is made of cast iron, topped by a nearly 20 foot tall statue of a woman representing Freedom. The building appears to be sheathed entirely in white marble, but one section in front is actually Virginia sandstone with a coat of white paint.