Photograph of people walking outside on a Self-Guided Tour of Capitol Hill
Visitors can tour many highlights on Capitol Hill without registering.


The Architect of the Capitol’s challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic buildings; adapting state-of-the-art technology; and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting.
The Architect of the Capitol's challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic...


Capitol Visitor Center Opening Ceremony
On December 2, the Capitol Visitor Center celebrates its four-year anniversary...
2017 Highlights

Ten Memorable Moments of 2017

This has been a year of many great moments at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) and on Capitol Hill. Before we dive into 2018, here's a look back at some of this year's highlights.

  1. Inauguration

    AOC employees in front of a flag near the inaugural platform on the U.S. Capitol's West Front.

    The presidential inaugural platform on the U.S. Capitol's West Front had its chance to shine on January 20, 2017.

  2. Arboretum Honors

    In February, the U.S. Capitol Grounds was named an accredited arboretum and is now listed in the Morton Register of Arboreta.

  3. An Elevator Discovery

    One of 330 Capitol Hill elevators maintained by the AOC.

    A celebration of the passenger elevator's birthday in March led to a search for our own historic first elevator at the U.S. Capitol.

  4. Seeds of Victory

    Turnip harvest in the 2017 War Gardens.

    Period-appropriate "War Gardens" planted at the Library of Congress led to more than 400 pounds of produce being donated to a local nonprofit.

  5. Leading Ducks to Water

    Ramps at the Capitol Reflecting Pool to assist ducklings in and out.

    The AOC collaborated with City Wildlife to build ramps for the Capitol Reflecting Pool to safely and effectively assist ducklings in and out.

  6. New House Office Building

    O'Neill House Office Building

    Care of the O'Neill Building was transferred from the General Services Administration to the AOC in June.

  7. The Great American Eclipse

    Partial solar eclipse seen above the U.S. Capitol.

    All eyes were on the skies in August as the solar eclipse passed over Washington, D.C.

  8. A Stinky August

    Three corpse flowers on display in the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory.

    For the first time in the history of the U.S. Botanic Garden, not just one but three corpse flowers (Amorphophallus titanum) bloomed at the Conservatory.

  9. Bartholdi Park Renovation

    The park's pathways are now accessible, access to the American Veterans Disabled for Life Memorial is improved and new lighting increases safety in the park. The renovation also incorporated the five main focus areas of sustainable landscaping.

  10. Christmas at the Capitol

    The U.S. Capitol's West Front shined again with the Capitol Christmas Tree lighting ceremony. This year’s tree is from the Kootenai National Forest in Montana.

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