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

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In Emanuel Leutze’s mural, a group of pioneers and their train of covered wagons are pictured at the continental divide, looking towards the sunset and the Pacific Ocean. The border depicts vignettes of exploration and frontier mythology. Beneath the central composition is a panoramic view of their destination “Golden Gate,” in San Francisco Bay.
Emanuel Leutze’s mural celebrates the western expansion of the United States....

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Snapshot of a crowd of people on a guided tour through the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol
Official Tours of the U.S. Capitol Building are offered Monday through...

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Stewardship
The Architect of the Capitol is committed to the preservation and stewardship...

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East Front Plaza Repairs
AOC is making repairs to expansion joints on the East Front Plaza of the...

Corinthian Columns

A detailed view of the acanthus leaves on a Corinthian Column on the Capitol Building.
Overview 

Corinthian columns are the most ornate, slender and sleek of the three Greek orders. They are distinguished by a decorative, bell-shaped capital with volutes, two rows of acanthus leaves and an elaborate cornice. In many instances, the column is fluted. Columns in this style can be found inside and outside of the buildings on Capitol Hill, including the U.S. Capitol, the Supreme Court Building, the Russell Senate Office Building, the Cannon House Office Building and the Library of Congress.

The exterior of the Capitol Building contains examples of a modified Corinthian column style, including the East Front center portico and the West Front. On the first floor of the Capitol’s House wing is the dramatic, high ceilinged Hall of Columns, which takes its name from the 28 fluted, white marble columns that line the corridor.

Detailed view of Corn Capitals design on a column at the U.S. Capitol Building.
Corn Capitals in the United States Capitol Building.

The column capitals are a variation on the Corinthian order, incorporating not only classical acanthus leaves but also thistles and native American tobacco plants. Earlier uses of American vegetation in the building's capitals include Benjamin Henry Latrobe's corncob capitals in a first-floor vestibule and his tobacco-leaf capitals in the Small Senate Rotunda.

The Supreme Court Building was designed in the classical Corinthian architectural style, selected to harmonize with the nearby congressional buildings. Its monumental entrance, facing the U.S. Capitol Building, contains a central temple-like pavilion fronted by a monumental portico with 16 Corinthian marble columns that support an elaborate entablature and pediment.

In the Cannon House Office Building and Russell Senate Office Building, their identical rotundas contain 18 Corinthian columns that support an entablature and a coffered dome, and whose glazed oculus floods the rotunda with natural light.