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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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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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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.

  • 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

Rising High – AOC’s elevator Mechanics

Posted by Lori Taylor on July 9, 2013

AOC Elevator Mechanics at the Library of Congress
“We deal with a lot of history.” No, those aren’t the words of the AOC’s Curator office. It’s Ron Bailey, shop supervisor of the Library Buildings and Grounds Elevator Division, who runs some of the oldest elevator systems on Capitol Hill, the oldest of which date back to the 1930s.

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Five Items Not to Miss at the U.S. Capitol

Posted by Sharon Gang on June 25, 2013

Statue of John L. “Jack” Swigert, Jr.
Visitors to the Capitol are often drawn to the "big ticket" items, but there are several other must-see items you should check out when visiting the U.S. Capitol Building.

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Constructing the Capitol: The Oven

Posted by Matt Guilfoyle on June 18, 2013

Early House of Representatives Chamber (artist representation)
Too hot or too cold – there is no pleasing everyone when it comes to the right temperature in the office. But while today the AOC provides a climate-controlled environment to the buildings of Capitol Hill, 212 years ago this wasn’t the case.

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Inspired by the Past, Preserving for the Future

Posted by Lori Taylor on June 7, 2013

Meet the AOC's decorative painters at the Library of Congress who work to preserve the ornate designs of one of the world's most beautiful buildings. Go behind the scenes to see the techniques used to keep the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building looking as striking as it did when it first opened in 1897.

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Beyond the Dome – Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center

Posted by Erin Nelson on June 3, 2013

Nitrate vault at the Library of Congress Packard Campus
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is responsible for managing all of the buildings and grounds on Capitol Hill, but it also maintains several facilities across the National Capital Region. One such facility is the Library of Congress Packard Campus of the National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, located 80 miles away from the Capitol in Culpeper, Virginia. I recently had the privilege to peak inside this fascinating facility.

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A "Slight" Capitol Contribution

Posted by Kristen Frederick on May 13, 2013

The United States Capitol in 1846, with its original dome designed by Charles Bulfinch
Throughout the U.S. Capitol Building’s 220-year history, there have been many workers who have labored in obscurity, their names forever lost to the passage of time. Recently when I was researching the third Architect of the Capitol, Charles Bulfinch, I stumbled across a Capitol worker with an interesting (and largely forgotten) story.

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