Without competition or solicitation, Hugh Jacobsen was selected by the Architect of The Capitol George M. White and a closed session of the United States Congress to be the architect of the west expansion and infill project of the historic structure. Originally, the terrace had two symmetrical large courts in the plan; before the addition of plumbing to the building in the 1920's, these were where the "Necessaries", or outhouses were located. 

The courts were filled in with offices and TV studios and other much needed rooms for congressional operations, but the key to Jacobsen's design was what he called "The Immaculate Incision". His new buildings would not touch the sacred limestone walls of the Latrobe, Thornton and Thomas U. Walter buildings other than a long ballistic skylight system that would just make a minimal penetration to the historic façades.