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Black and white picture of Frederick Law Olmsted  best known for designing the grounds of New York City’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law...

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Visitor Guide Gives Tour of Rotunda
Please note: Many of these Capitol Hill buildings are working office buildings...

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Photo of Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol in front of the Capitol Building
On February 24, 2010, President Barack Obama nominated Mr. Ayers to serve as...

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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...

Our Blog

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

  • Tower crane being installed at the Cannon House Office Building.

    Bringing Cannon Back to the Future

    By: Sarah Bublitz

    Categories: Buildings & Grounds, Projects

    High in the sky, about 50 feet above the roof, a crane is peeking out of the Cannon House Office Building.

    April 21, 2015

  • President Lincoln's funeral procession.

    The Lincoln Catafalque in the U.S. Capitol

    By: Barbara Wolanin

    Categories: History

    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.

    April 15, 2015

  • Molten cast iron heated to more than 2,500 degrees is poured into the mold.

    Expert Metalwork Revealed in Restoration of the U.S. Capitol Dome

    By: Joe Abriatis

    Categories: Projects

    Last week, I had an opportunity to travel to the foundry in Salt Lake City and see firsthand how the work to re-create decorative ornaments on the Dome is done.

    April 10, 2015

  • Capitol Sunset November 2014

    A Few of 2014's Favorite Things

    By: Sarah Bublitz

    Categories: About AOC, Photography

    From February's heavy snowfall to October's blood moon eclipse, take a look back at some popular moments of 2014 through the AOC's Instagram and Flickr images.

    December 22, 2014

Saving Life & Limb: AOC Arborists

Posted by Franklin Bradley on September 25, 2012

AOC tree surgeon cares for trees on Capitol Grounds
Year round, I often notice Architect of the Capitol employees perched high in the trees above. I love the large, beautiful trees across Capitol Hill—they are longest standing witnesses of the history of this campus, from the burning of the Capitol by the British to the sculpting of the current grounds in 1872 by Frederick Law Olmsted. I was concerned that the AOC was cutting this history down – so I did some investigating.

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What does the Constitution mean to me?

Posted by Sharon Gang on September 14, 2012

What does the Constitution mean to me? Exhibit
My colleagues at the Capitol Visitor Center’s (CVC) Exhibits and Education Division asked that I create a sample journal to inspire U.S. Capitol visitors who will make journals as part of Constitution Week activities at the CVC the week of September 17.

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Path to Capitol During the Civil War

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on August 28, 2012

Path to the Capitol in Wartime
As a professional commuter, every day I enter my “bubble” – looking at my phone, listening to music, reading my Kindle – as I travel from my home in Bristow, Virginia, to my office at the U.S. Capitol. It is easy to forget to look-up and appreciate that in a single morning commute on the Virginia Railway Express (VRE), I traverse places forever connected by events that occurred 150 years ago this month.

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“A Most Magnificent Ruin”: The Burning of the Capitol during the War of 1812

Posted by AOC Curator Office on August 22, 2012

Drawing of the U.S. Capitol after burning by the British, George Munger, 1814
In retaliation for the Americans' recent burning of the Canadian capital at York (present-day Toronto), British troops descended on Washington, D.C., in August 1814, to set fire to much of the city. Follow the path the British took to burn the U.S. Capitol and learn more about the damage done to this historic building.

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Meeting a Capitol Artist

Posted by Sharon Gang on August 14, 2012

Jimilu Morgan presents the completed bust of Constantino Brumidi to then Vice President Hubert Humphrey - 1968
Sharon Gang, Marketing and Communications Manager for the Capitol Visitor Center, describes her experience meeting Jimilu Mason, an American artist with works on display at the U.S. Capitol building.

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AOC Trailblazer: Georgia Shaw

Posted by Kristen Frederick on July 12, 2012

Georgia Shaw working as an AOC draftsman
Georgia Shaw was the first woman hired by the AOC as a draftsman, leading to a fulfilling 29-year career with the agency. After Georgia passed, her daughter honored her mother’s legacy by including the AOC’s logo on the memorial plaque that marks her grave.

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