Stewards of the iconic buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill since 1793.

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Layout of the Capitol Grounds drawn by Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted in 1874.
Landscape Architect Frederick Law Olmsted designed the U.S. Capitol Grounds in...

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View of the U.S. Capitol Building from above at dusk
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve 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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AOC employees plan renovations to Representative Tammy Duckworth's Office
A team of tradecrafts experts at the AOC transform an office into a completely...

Crypt

Overview 

The large circular area on the first floor of the U.S. Capitol Building is called the Crypt. The 40 Doric columns of brown stone surmounted by groined sandstone arches support the floor of the Rotunda. This center section of the building was completed in 1827 under the direction of the third Architect of the Capitol, Charles Bulfinch. The star in the center of the floor denotes the point from which the streets in Washington are laid out and numbered. Located in the Crypt are 13 statues from the National Statuary Hall Collection, representing the 13 original colonies, and the Magna Carta replica and display.

Last Updated: January 29, 2014