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The Architect of the Capitol’s challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic buildings; adapting state-of-the-art technology; and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting.
The Architect of the Capitol's challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic...

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AOC's Theon Parker teaches students about electrical circuits at Phelps ACE High School.
Courses taught by AOC employees help communicate business culture and...

News & Notices

Capitol Christmas Tree arrives on November 26

November 05, 2012

The U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will arrive at the West Front of the Capitol along First Street, NW, at 10 a.m. on Monday, November 26, 2012. This year’s tree — a 65-foot Engelmann spruce — is from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest in Colorado.  It was harvested on November 2, and is currently traveling from Colorado across the country; making stops in 28 communities along the way. After it arrives at the U.S. Capitol and is secured in the ground, the tree will be decorated with approximately 5,000 ornaments, handcrafted by Coloradans to reflect this year’s theme...

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One Team, One Mission, One Day

September 28, 2012

AOC employees hang flags and bunting in preparation for the 2009 Inaugural
Inauguration at the Capitol takes a team effort to pull together, and planning for the event begins as soon as the previous inagural ends. Take a behind the scenes look at AOC's role in this event.   At noon on January 20, 2009, the polished brass doors on the West Front of the Capitol gleamed. Thousands of chairs glistened in the winter sun. Red, white and blue flags and bunting fluttered in a cold breeze. Hundreds of Architect of the Capitol staff, who had helped plan, construct, secure, set up, clean, procure and organize the 56th Presidential Inauguration held their collective breaths as...

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First Nail Ceremony Kicks off Inauguration Construction

September 21, 2012

On September 20, 2012, Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, joined members of the Joint Congressional Committee on Inaugural Ceremonies to drive in the “First Nail” marking the beginning of construction of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural platform. Ayers kicked off the event by saying that, “It is a tremendous honor to be a part of this historic event. The Architect of the Capitol’s involvement dates back to the 1860’s when the Presidential Inauguration began to involve more public participation, and arrangements were made to make the event more accessible to the people...

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Master Illusionists of Capitol Hill

August 31, 2012

AOC Capitol jurisdiction decorative painters create a faux marble fireplace.
Turing wood into marble, metal into wood, one dimensional into three dimensional; these are all “tricks” of the trade for the painters of the Architect of the Capitol. “We make a lot of things look like something they are not,” said Cori Wright, assistant supervisor painter and decorator for the Capitol Building (and 2012 Winner of the Washington Post “Peeps Show” — dioramas made from Peeps marshmallows). “Or we make something that has been put into a space disappear,” adds AOC “rookie” decorative painter, Ben Roberts, who joined the AOC Capitol jurisdiction this spring.   The men and women...

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Inauguration Construction

August 30, 2012

Beginning Monday, September 10, 2012, the lower terrace of the West Front of the U.S. Capitol will be closed for construction of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural stands. Fencing is being erected around the construction site and there will be no access to the Member and staff entrance on the lower terrace.   The West Front will be re-opened in mid-February 2013 following the Inaugural activities and the removal of the stands.    The Presidential swearing-in takes place on Monday, January 21, 2013, since January 20, 2013, is a Sunday. S. Con. Res 35 established January 21, 2013, as the...

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Capitol Reflecting Pool Undergoing Annual Cleaning and Inspection

June 01, 2012

The Architect of the Capitol’s Capitol Grounds staff has begun draining the Capitol reflecting pool today (June 1, 2012) in order to complete the annual cleaning and inspection. The work will take approximately two weeks.  The Capitol Reflecting Pool is located at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, DC. Six acres in size, it occupies over half of the area called Union Square. It is set into a plaza that includes, on the east, the Ulysses S. Grant memorial; to its west is a tree-dotted grassy area that extends to Third Streets, NW and SW. Nearby tourist destinations include...

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