The Old Supreme Court Chamber is the first room constructed for the use of the nation's highest judiciary body and was used by the Court from 1810 until 1860. Built by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, it was a significant architectural achievement, for the size and structure of its vaulted, semicircular ceiling were virtually unprecedented in the United States.
The Old Supreme Court Chamber is the first room constructed for the use of the...


The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
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Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Ayers to serve as...


Statue of Frederick Douglass from Emancipation Hall in the Capitol Visitor Center
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Capitol Christmas Tree Lights up Washington

The Capitol Christmas Tree in 2013

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was lit by Speaker of the House John A. Boehner during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, on the Capitol’s West Front lawn, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, served as master of ceremonies.

This year’s tree is an Engelmann spruce from the Newport Ranger District of the Colville National Forest in Washington State. It is decorated with thousands of ornaments, handcrafted by Washingtonians to reflect this year’s theme, “Sharing Washington’s Good Nature,” which highlights the state’s historical, cultural and natural beauty.

The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition at the U.S. Capitol since 1964. The tree will be lit from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2014.

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