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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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A virtual Map of Capitol Hill from above
A map of the U.S. Capitol and other buildings and grounds cared for by the...

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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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Military Band Concert playing at night in front of the Capitol
The 2014 series of concerts will be inaugurated by the Navy Band on Monday,...

Our Blog

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

Beyond the Dome – USBG Production Facility

Posted by Erin Nelson on November 12, 2013

The U.S. Botanic Garden Production Facility full of plants
AOC's Erin Nelson ventures outside the U.S. Capitol to explore the U.S. Botanic Garden's Production Facility -- home to approximately 60,000 plants.

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B.B. French – Blogger Extraordinaire

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on November 6, 2013

Black and white portrait of Benjamin Brown French
Long before the advent of Twitter, Facebook and blogs – there were journals. 150 years ago this month saw one of the most transformative periods in the construction of the United States Capitol along with the historic address by Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. One individual captured these events both as a witness, and as participant, capturing first-hand details of moments that shaped history.

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A Toadally Cool Object In Exhibition Hall

Posted by Karin Johnston on November 4, 2013

Toad Box on display at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center
Capitol Visitor Center Registrar Karin Johnston, takes an in depth look at one of her favorite artifacts currently on display in the Exhibition Hall exhibit, “Conflict and Compromise.”

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Unearthing Capitol Hill's Buried History

Posted by Kristen Frederick on October 31, 2013

Cenotaphs at the Congressional Cemetery. Photo courtesy Library of Congress.
This Halloween, Kristen Frederick, congressional liaison for the Architect of the Capitol, visited the Congressional Cemetery and discovered many connections the AOC has to this hallowed ground.

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Saving the U.S. Capitol Dome

Posted by Stephen T. Ayers on October 22, 2013

View of the U.S. Capitol Dome with light in the windows
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, reflects on the AOC's effort to restore the U.S. Capitol Dome.

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Solidago: Solid Gold for the Garden

Posted by Bill McLaughlin on October 21, 2013

Picture of Solidago Altissima outside in a field
Bill McLaughlin, Plant Curator at the U.S. Botanic Garden, reflects on the beautiful goldenrod blooming at the U.S. Botanic Garden.

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