Bartholdi Park and Fountain at night surrounded by plant life.
Bartholdi Park serves as a home landscape demonstration garden and showcases...



Painted portrait of Dr. William Thornton
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...


Up close photo of Memorial with Grant on a horse.
Because weather and time have not been kind to the Grant Memorial, AOC staff...

Blog Posts Categorized 'History'

Monuments Men Return to Inspire on Capitol Hill

Posted by Franklin Bradley on October 22, 2015

Associate architects from DeWitt, Poor, Swanke, Shelton & Almond selecting materials for exterior of Library of Congress Madison Building.
Today, a Congressional Gold Medal will be presented in recognition of the Monuments Men. Here, we highlight just a few of these heroes with their accomplishments seen on Capitol Hill, from the outside of the buildings to the rooms and artwork within.

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Capitol Reflections: ADA and Life Safety

Posted by Laura Condeluci on July 26, 2015

AOC Fire Safety team testing the smoke detectors.
A look back at how life safety relates to the Americans with Disabilities Act and what has changed on the Capitol Campus over the past 25 years.

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History with a Side of Mystery: the Rotunda Benches

Posted by Sharon Gang on June 04, 2015

Benches in the chapel at Saint Elizabeths Hospital.
The benches of the Capitol Rotunda have also called a few other locations home over the years.

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The Lincoln Catafalque in the U.S. Capitol

Posted by Barbara Wolanin on April 15, 2015

President Lincoln's funeral procession.
To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, AOC Curator Barbara Wolanin details the days he lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.

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Anne Frank Tree at the Capitol

Posted by Sharon Gang on July 21, 2014

Anne Frank Tree and marker planted in the ground in front of the Capitol
One of Anne's few connections to the outside world while hiding in the secret annex was a nearby white chestnut tree which she could see from the attic window.

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Monuments Man Creates Monumental Statue

Posted by Franklin Bradley on February 07, 2014

Model of James Madison statue, with sculptor Walker Hancock.
When AOC's Franklin Bradley recently learned that one of the lead characters in the upcoming "Monuments Men" movie, portrayed by John Goodman, was inspired by Walker K. Hancock, an artist who contributed many works of art to the U.S. Capitol, he decided to dig deeper in to this monument man's history.

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Grazing the Capitol Grounds

Posted by Andria Leo on February 03, 2014

Sheep on the White House lawn, taken between 1916-1919. Image courtesy Library of Congress
The Capitol Grounds have long been a haven for wildlife, with residents ranging from squirrels to red-tailed hawks to a red fox. But sheep? If it had been left up to one Virginia farmer more than 90 years ago, flocks of sheep might be spotted grazing on the grounds today.

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Celebrating 150 Years of Freedom

Posted by Lori Taylor on December 02, 2013

Photo showing placement of the Statue of Freedom atop the Capitol December 2, 1863 as viewed from the west.
The Statue of Freedom was placed atop the Capitol Dome 150 years ago, effectively completing the Capitol Dome that we still see today.

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B.B. French – Blogger Extraordinaire

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on November 06, 2013

Black and white portrait of Benjamin Brown French
Long before the advent of Twitter, Facebook and blogs – there were journals. 150 years ago this month saw one of the most transformative periods in the construction of the United States Capitol along with the historic address by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. One individual captured these events both as a witness, and as participant, capturing first-hand details of moments that shaped history.

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Unearthing Capitol Hill's Buried History

Posted by Kristen Frederick on October 31, 2013

Cenotaphs at the Congressional Cemetery. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
This Halloween, Kristen Frederick, congressional liaison for the Architect of the Capitol, visited the Congressional Cemetery and discovered many connections the AOC has to this hallowed ground.

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