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

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This painting by Allyn Cox depicts the cornerstone laying ceremony and is currently on display in the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The cornerstone was laid on Wednesday, September 18, 1793, during the first...

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A virtual Map of Capitol Hill from above
View a map of the U.S. Capitol and other buildings and grounds cared for by the...

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Photo of AOC employee Richard Edmonds.
  The Architect of the Capitol magazine, Foundations & Perspectives,...

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House Office Buildings laborers like Keith Quick carefully move thousands of boxes and other items among member storerooms every election year.
The House Office Buildings laborers continuously improve service delivery and...

Thomas Ustick Walter

Painted Portrait of Thomas Ustick Walter
Thomas Ustick Walter, Fourth Architect of the Capitol
Born: 
September 4, 1804, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Died: 
October 30, 1887, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Appointed by President Millard Fillmore, June 11, 1851; Resigned May 26, 1865

Thomas U. Walter’s plans for the enlargement of the U.S. Capitol were approved by President Millard Fillmore and he was appointed Architect of the Capitol Extension in 1851. While he oversaw the construction of new marble wings, the commissioner of public buildings maintained the existing Capitol and the surrounding grounds. Walter also designed a new cast-iron dome, which was authorized in 1855.

Walter’s office was originally placed under the Department of the Interior. From 1853 until 1862 it was under the War Department and was overseen by two army engineers: Montgomery C. Meigs (1853–1859; 1861–1862) and William B. Franklin (1859–1861). Work was suspended for a year at the outbreak of the Civil War; when it resumed in 1862, Walter’s office was again placed under the Department of the Interior.

Born in Philadelphia in 1804, Walter worked for his father as a bricklayer and later studied architecture under William Strickland (a former pupil of B. Henry Latrobe). His design for Girard College for Orphans (1832) was his most important early commission. He was one of the founders and second president of the American Institute of Architects. After his Washington career ended in 1865, Walter retired briefly before financial reversals forced him back to work. He was the chief assistant to the architect of the Philadelphia City Hall from 1873 until his death in 1887.