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

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A black and white photograph of the United States Capitol in 1846.
The history of the United States Capitol Building begins in 1793. Since then,...

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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
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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 working cleaning the National Garden
The National Garden is a treasure for everyone.

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