Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

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Outside view of the Longworth House Office Building with a clear blue sky in the background.
Completed in the spring of 1933, the Longworth House Office Building is the...

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View of the U.S. Capitol Building from above at dusk
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the...

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An AOC worker mowing the grass on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol
The roles and responsibilities of the Architect of the Capitol cover an...

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Masons work on Olmsted Terrace Steps
AOC is undertaking a project to repair, clean and preserve the Olmsted Terrace...

Charles Bulfinch

Painted portrait of Charles Bulfinch
Charles Bulfinch, Third Architect of the Capitol
Born: 
August 8, 1763, Boston, Massachusetts
Died: 
April 15, 1844, Boston, Massachusetts
Appointed by President James Monroe and the Commissioner of Public Buildings, January 8, 1818; Office abolished June 25, 1829

Charles Bulfinch was hired by the commissioner of public buildings in 1818 to replace Latrobe. He continued the restoration of the two wings, which were reopened in 1819. Bulfinch designed the domed center building of the Capitol and oversaw its construction between 1818 and 1826. He also planned the Capitol Grounds and the original west terraces. After the U.S. Capitol Building was finished, President Andrew Jackson terminated the architect’s position on June 30, 1829.

Bulfinch was among the first American-born architects of distinction. Born in Boston in 1763, he graduated from Harvard, and studied European buildings using an itinerary drawn up by Thomas Jefferson. He became famous in New England for elegant private residences, churches, and public buildings. His most famous commission was the Massachusetts Statehouse of 1795–1798. Following his Washington career Bulfinch retired to Boston, where he died in 1844.

From 1816 to 1867 supervision and maintenance of the U.S. Capitol were directed by the Commissioner of Public Buildings. Minor architectural services were regularly provided by Robert Mills and other Washington architects between 1829 and 1851, when there was no Capitol architect.