This section is from the book "The National Capitol. Its Architecture Art And History", by George C. Hazelton, Jr. Also available from Amazon: The National Capitol Its Architecture Art and History.
The House met for the first time in the new Hall of Representatives in the south extension at twelve o'clock, December 16, 1857. The new Senate Chamber was not ready for occupancy for more than a year later, January 4, 1859, when the Senate moved from its old chamber, now devoted to the Supreme Court of the United States. Despite the bad weather and bad walking, for there were no street cars in Washington in those days, the Capitol was filled to overflowing with people desiring to see the ceremony of the removal of the Senate and its initial sitting in the new hall. The eagerness to be present at the exercises was so great that Mr. Stuart moved to admit ladies to the floor, which motion, however, was defeated through the objection of Mr. Hamlin.
The report of the committee was first read by the Secretary. It stated that the new chamber was ready for occupancy, and that the seats had been arranged according to the plan presented with the report and the rooms assigned. The galleries to the left of the President were reserved for ladies accompanied by gentlemen, and those to the right for gentlemen alone. The central portion above the President's chair—except the front desk, which was set apart for reporters of the Senate—was allotted to such reporters of the press as might be admitted thereto by the authority of that body. Mr. Crittenden moved the adoption of "the report in an informal speech full of feeling at the thought of leaving the historic chamber. He was followed by the Vice-President, John C. Breckenridge, in a more elaborate and eloquent speech in the same vein. The Senators, preceded by the Vice-President, the Secretary and Sergeant-at-Arms, then marched to the new chamber and took the seats assigned them, whereupon the Vice-President called the body to order. After the Rev. P. D. Gurley, D.D., had offered prayer, the regular proceedings were resumed.