Old Senate Chamber designed by Benjamin Henry Latrobe, this room was home to the U.S. Senate from 1819 until 1859 and later to the U.S. Supreme Court from 1860-1935.
Located north of the Capitol Rotunda is the richly decorated Old Senate...



Painted portrait of Dr. William Thornton
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the builder and steward of America’s...


Photo of Dr. Michael Balick, Vice President and Director, Institute of Economic Botany, The New York Botanical Garden
On January 31 at noon, learn about plants used in traditional healing by...

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2013 Capitol Christmas Tree Lighting

Event Location: 
Capitol Grounds
Capitol Tree Lighting 2012

This event has already occurred — The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will be lit by Speaker of the House John A. Boehner during a ceremony on Tuesday, December 3, on the Capitol’s West Front lawn beginning at 5 p.m. Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, will serve as master of ceremonies.

This year’s tree is an Engelmann spruce from the Newport Ranger District of the Colville National Forest in Washington State. It was harvested on November 1, and is currently traveling from Washington across the country; making stops in 22 communities along the way.

After it arrives at the U.S. Capitol and is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with thousands of ornaments, handcrafted by Washingtonians to reflect this year’s theme, “Sharing Washington’s Good Nature,” which highlights the state’s historical, cultural, and natural beauty.

The Capitol Christmas Tree has been a tradition at the U.S. Capitol since 1964. The tree will be lit from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through January 1, 2014.


Image above of 2012 Capitol Christmas Tree