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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.

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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Supporting the State of the Union

Posted by Stephen T. Ayers on February 8, 2013

State of the Union on January 24, 2012
Every winter, Congress has the honor of welcoming the President of the United States to the U.S. Capitol for the annual State of the Union Address. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers reflects on the AOC's role in support this momentous event.

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Meeting Jason Baltimore

Posted by Kristen Frederick on February 4, 2013

AOC General Counsel Jason Baltimore standing next to a tour of people
Kristen Frederick, AOC congressional liaison, sits down with Jason Baltimore, AOC’s first African American general counsel, to discuss what brought him to the Architect of the Capitol and what opportunities lie ahead for him in his new role.

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The Liberty Cap in the Art of the U.S. Capitol

Posted by AOC Curator Office on January 29, 2013

The figure of Liberty in the Apotheosis of George Washington is depicted wearing a Liberty Cap
The liberty cap was the symbol of freedom and liberty commonly used in the 19th century and is seen in many places in the United States Capitol.

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Windows of Capitol Hill

Posted by Stephen T. Ayers on January 22, 2013

The AOC is responsible for nearly 600,000 square feet of windows
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers reflects on the almost 600,000 square feet of windows – of all different shapes, size and age – cared for by the AOC.

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