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U.S. Capitol Dome was constructed with 8,909,200 pounds of ironwork bolted together in a masterpiece of American will and ingenuity.
The U.S. Capitol’s dome made of cast iron was designed by Thomas U. Walter and...

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The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
A few ideas to help you in planning a visit to Capitol Hill.

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Painted Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe
Benjamin Henry Latrobe was hired by President Jefferson in 1803 to fill the...

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U.S. Marine Band - Wednesday and some Thursday Evenings
U.S. Marine Band - Wednesday and some Thursday Evenings - The 2014 series of...

Blog Posts Categorized 'History'

Keeping History in Perspective

Posted by Stephen T. Ayers on July 23, 2013

Engraving showing the first dome of the U.S. Capitol, designed by Charles Bulfinch. By William H. Bartlett, circa 1840.
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, remembers one of the major players in the history U.S. Capitol, Charles Bulfinch.

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Constructing the Capitol: The Oven

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on June 18, 2013

Early House of Representatives Chamber (artist representation)
Too hot or too cold – there is no pleasing everyone when it comes to the right temperature in the office. But while today the AOC provides a climate-controlled environment to the buildings of Capitol Hill, 212 years ago this wasn’t the case.

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A "Slight" Capitol Contribution

Posted by Kristen Frederick on May 13, 2013

The United States Capitol in 1846, with its original dome designed by Charles Bulfinch
Throughout the U.S. Capitol Building’s 220-year history, there have been many workers who have labored in obscurity, their names forever lost to the passage of time. Recently when I was researching the third Architect of the Capitol, Charles Bulfinch, I stumbled across a Capitol worker with an interesting (and largely forgotten) story.

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More Historically Accurate: Lincoln or Vampire Hunter?

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on April 15, 2013

Abraham Lincoln's second inaugural at the U.S. Capitol
AOC Public Affairs Officer Matt Guilfoyle watches "Lincoln" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"-- and is surprised by which film more accurately depicts the U.S. Capitol.

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Squirrels on Capitol Grounds

Posted by Andria Leo on April 11, 2013

Squirrels on the Capitol Grounds
When walking across the Capitol Grounds there is one critter that can consistently be seen out and about – the squirrel. When did squirrels first come to Washington, D.C. and how did they end up here? Archivist Andria Leo took a look through AOC’s historical records to investigate the history of the squirrel at the Capitol.

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A Cornerstone of American History

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on March 18, 2013

The quarry at Government Island provided sandstone for the construction of the White House and the U.S. Capitol building.
AOC Public Affairs Officer Matt Guilfoyle walks in the footsteps of the masons and laborers who worked the quarry at Government Island in Aquia, Virginia, to gather stone for the U.S. Capitol more than 200 years ago.

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Capitol Illumination

Posted by Franklin Bradley on March 12, 2013

The East Front of the U.S. Capitol at Dusk
The AOC works to make the Capitol Dome, an enduring symbol of democracy recognized throughout the world, visible to all throughout the night. Learn about this history of the lighting of this iconic building.

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How the Crypt Got its Name

Posted by AOC Curator Office on March 04, 2013

The Capitol Crypt, which now houses statuary and exhibitions, was once used as an informal storage space where bicycles were parked, seen here circa 1900.
The term "crypt" has long referred to a space beneath the main floor of a church or a chamber in a mausoleum. For many of us it suggests somber, stony silence and perhaps dusty coffins. The Capitol Crypt, however, is a different thing altogether.

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America’s Greatest Engineer?

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on February 20, 2013

Construction of Capitol extensions
Montgomery Meigs – a man who built the Capitol while helping save the Union it represents - may be America’s greatest engineer.

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Love at the Ford Building

Posted by Michael McDonald on February 14, 2013

Louise and Robert Pearl at the exact moment of their engagement in front of the Ford Building.
For 10 years, I have walked through the doors of the 3rd Street entrance to the Ford Building, never knowing that right outside those very same doors — 72 years ago — something happened that greatly influenced my life.

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