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

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Inaugurations of Presidents of the United States
A list of inaugurals of Presidents of the United States. Read about key...

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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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AOC members holding the Historic Preservation Award that they received
The Architect of the Capitol strives to perform all work at a high level of...

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Anne Frank Tree and marker planted in the ground in front of the Capitol
Anne Frank Tree on Capitol Grounds

Foundations & Perspectives

Foundations & Perspectives

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.

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

Volume 13 | Fall 2014 Stories:

Read the full Fall 2014 issue (pdf) of Foundations & Perspectives.


Foundations & Perspectives Archives:

Volume 12 . . .
Spring 2014

Volume 12, Spring 2014, Cover Volume 11, Spring 2013, Cover Volume 10, Winter 2013, Cover Volume 9, Summer 2012, Cover Volume 8, Spring 2012, Cover Volume 7, Fall 2011, Cover

Volume 6, Summer 2011, Cover Volume 5, Spring 2011, Cover Volume 4, Winter 2010, Cover Volume 3, Summer 2010, Cover Volume 2, Spring 2010, Cover Volume 1, Winter 2009, Cover

. . . Volume 1
Winter 2009