George M. White, FAIA, was appointed Architect of the Capitol in 1971 by President Richard Nixon. He was the last person to be appointed without the advice and consent of the Senate to a term of unspecified duration.
As Architect of the Capitol, White created the Master Plan for the future development of the Capitol Complex. He oversaw construction of the Library of Congress, James Madison Memorial Building, the Hart Senate Office Building, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, and the Capitol terrace infill areas. His accomplishments included the restoration of the Old Supreme Court Chamber and Old Senate Chamber, the partial restoration of National Statuary Hall, the restoration of the U.S. Capitol Building's west central front, and the interior restoration and renovation of the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building and John Adams Buildings. His conservation efforts included the Capitol Rotunda canopy and frieze and the Statue of Freedom. In the congressional office buildings he improved electrical, electronic, fire-protection, and transportation systems. Other work included the expansion of the Capitol Power Plant and planning and design for the National Garden, to be located adjacent to the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, and for the Capitol Visitor Center. He is also credited with modernizing the Architect’s office and hiring a more professional staff.
The son of an architect, White was born in Ohio in 1920. He received two engineering degrees from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, a business degree from Harvard, and a law degree from Case Western Reserve University. At the time of his appointment White was a vice president of the American Institute of Architects. He retired from office in 1995 and died in 2011.
In the period between White's retirement and the appointment of a new Architect, William L. Ensign, FAIA, the former Assistant Architect of the Capitol, served as the acting Architect of the Capitol.