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In the late 19th century the architectural style of the Thomas Jefferson Building was said to be "Italian Renaissance." Today, it is recognized as a premier example of the Beaux Arts style, which is theatrical, heavily ornamented and kinetic. It is a style perfectly suited to a young, wealthy, and imperialistic nation in its Gilded Age.
The Library of Congress began in 1800 with a small appropriation to buy...

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

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City of Trees book cover artwork
Enjoy the fall foliage that graces the U.S. Capitol Grounds on November 15 at...

Our Blog

Read a blog about the art, architecture and work on the Capitol Hill written by AOC's experts.

In Bloom: Jeepers creepers, it must be spring!

Posted by Bill McLaughlin on April 2, 2013

Phlox subulata flowers blooming
Bill McLaughlin, Plant Curator at the U.S. Botanic Garden highlights plants currently in bloom at the U.S. Capitol.

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Behind the Scrim: An Inside Look at the Supreme Court Restoration

Posted by Lori Taylor on March 26, 2013

The scaffold for the Supreme Court's restoration is wrapped in a scrim enclosure printed with a full-size photograph of the building’s façade.
Take a look behind the scrim at the restoration work underway on the U.S. Supreme Court Building's West Front façade to address deterioration due to age, weather and nature. Take a look behind the scrim at the work.

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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 4, 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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U.S. Botanic Garden's Understory: Photographs of Jackie Bailey Labovitz

Posted by Ray Mims on February 26, 2013

Trout Lily in the U.S. Botanic Garden
The U.S. Botanic Garden’s Conservation & Sustainability Horticulturist, Ray Mims, takes a look at the importance of spring ephemerals, which are featured in the Garden’s current exhibit, Understory, on display now through October 14, 2013.

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