The Architect of the Capitol magazine, Foundations & Perspectives, highlights the talents of AOC employees that are working behind-the-scenes to ensure the Capitol Campus operates efficiently and effectively. It is published two or three times each year.
Letter from the Architect — Fall 2014
The Architect of the Capitol can trace its beginnings to 1791 when President George Washington selected three commissioners to provide proper accommodations for Congress to conduct its business in Washington, D.C. As we carry that mission forward in the work we do today, preservation is key to our success.
Over the next few years, stone preservation will be a top priority for the AOC, as nearly every building is encased in stone and almost all are in need of repair. Soon scaffolding will be visible on buildings around campus including the Capitol Building, Russell Senate Office Building and the Cannon House Office Building to name a few. These critically important stone renovation efforts will ensure that the work of Congress can continue for decades to come.
As you know, our mission goes beyond preserving the exterior of Capitol Hill’s iconic structures. The AOC also maintains many items inside the buildings – from member offices to committee rooms, we even conserve thousands of clocks throughout the Capitol campus. Recently we helped design the updated version of the legislative call system, which consists of the bells and buzzers you often hear throughout the buildings. Congress relies on the clocks to inform them of the day's business, as the combination of lights and sounds signals the time for votes and other actions. AOC employees meticulously maintain these clocks to ensure the process of democracy can continue without interruption.
Just as we preserve the buildings and items they hold, we must also preserve the knowledge of our workforce. The Training and Employee Development Branch has worked hard to expand professional development opportunities and facilitate ways for employees to share their knowledge across jurisdictions. As more veteran employees begin to retire, we have found ways to capture their institutional knowledge. The newly established Exchange of Critical Expertise and Learning (ExCEL) Program will ensure the next generation of AOC workers are fully equipped to continue our important work.
I am so proud to lead the talented men and women of the AOC. Thank you for the invaluable contributions you make each day to support the mission entrusted to this agency by President Washington more than two centuries ago.
Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP
Architect of the Capitol
- Crumbling Down and Building Up
- AOC Bike Commuters: In Their Own Words
- Bells, Buzzers, Clicks and Clocks
- AOC Moves the House Office Buildings Storerooms
- AOC Employees ExCEL in New Programs
- Doing Good: Richard Edmonds
- Instant Perspective on a #CapitolMorning
Read the full Fall 2014 issue of Foundations & Perspectives.