Having the shape of half of an ellipse bisected by one of its diameters, especially the major axis.
- Convex anterior border is transversely semi-elliptical in outline, with length equal to nearly 30 percent of width along border furrow.
- Though rectangular in form, an Ionic colonnade (rather than Corinthian, as in Washington) that contained a gallery for spectators threw the northern end of the room into a semi-elliptical figure.
- The reading room and its semi-elliptical extension are clad in monochromely pale Spanish stone counterpoised to the Portland stone of the Classical facades, in which patching is deliberately clearly visible.
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