Photograph of people walking outside on a Self-Guided Tour of Capitol Hill
Visitors can tour many highlights on Capitol Hill without registering.


Photo of Capitol Hill steps.
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Titan arum in bloom at the U.S. Botanic Garden
The titan arum (Amorphophallus titanum), also known as the corpse flower or...

News & Notices

Capitol Curriculum: Enticing Educational Inititiatives

May 16, 2012

An education cart at the Capitol Visitor Center teaches children about the construction of the U.S. Capitol and the workers who helped to build it.
U.S. Botanic Garden “We don’t have pandas.” That’s the challenge that U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) Education Specialist Libby Rhoads and all of the Architect of the Capitol's educators and public programmers face as they try to entice course participants to learn more about the Capitol and Grounds beyond what they see on a standard tour. Rhoads, who began working for the AOC in 2008 as an intern through the George Washington Museum Education Program, is in charge of preparing the USBG’s inspiring range of educational programs that encourage people to investigate plants and the science of...

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Delivering Extraordinary Customer Service

May 14, 2012

Senate Building Services Supervisor David Douglas and Building Inspector Sharon Garavito-Lyons meet with Darla Ripchinsky, chief clerk of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
"People think we're like firemen, sitting and waiting for a fire," says Building Services Supervisor Matt Washington, who oversees the AOC Service Center for the House Office Buildings. "The reality is that we're always looking for more ways to be proactive instead of reactive." This approach is shared by the AOC Service Centers in the Senate Office Buildings and the Capitol Building. All three service centers employ building inspectors who regularly visit Member, committee and staff offices to provide proactive service, asking if their customers have any needs or questions. The inspectors...

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Exhibition of Civil War Treasures at U.S. Capitol Visitor Center

March 26, 2012

Beth Plemmons, CEO for the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center, announced that a new selection of Civil War-related documents and artifacts will be on display beginning March 12 through September 8, 2012, in the Capitol Visitor Center’s Exhibition Hall. “We are pleased to present part two of our commemoration of the sesquicentennial of the Civil War by highlighting documents and artifacts that relate to the role of Congress and the Capitol during the Civil War,” said Plemmons. “The Civil War was a defining moment both in our nation’s history and in the expansion and evolution of the Capitol...

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Architect of the Capitol Begins Restoration of Capitol Dome Skirt

February 24, 2012

Capitol Dome with Skirt Restoration on the exterior
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, announced today that passers-by at the U.S. Capitol will soon see workers beginning the restoration of the Capitol Dome skirt – the lower level of the cast iron Dome. The restoration work will include repairing and restoring historic ironwork, sandstone, and brick masonry. In addition, old paint will be removed from the interior and exterior of the Dome skirt and it will be repainted. Work behind the scenes has been ongoing for several months to prepare the site for the restoration project. Currently, a large scaffold tower is in...

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East House Underground Garage receives LEED for New Construction

January 19, 2012

The AOC East House Underground Garage received a LEED for New Construction certification at the Gold level on January 19, 2012. The project was recognized for: Construction activity pollution prevention, controlling dust and debris from contamination of the air and sewer run-off systems. Providing new water efficient plumbing fixtures that increased water savings by more than 50 percent. Optimizing energy performance and provided high performance mechanical systems that reduced energy consumption by more than 24% above ASHRAE. Diverting over 99% of the 8,500,000 pounds of construction...

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A Holiday Tradition

November 25, 2011

The Architect of the Capitol Trims the Capitol Christmas Tree “When the lights of the Capitol Christmas Tree are finally turned on, everyone has that ‘ahh’ moment,” says Tree Surgeon Supervisor George Rollins. Rollins has served with the Architect of the Capitol for 30 years and the moment of the official Christmas tree lighting by the Speaker of the House each year never gets old. It’s when the hard work that the AOC has been performing — around the clock and behind the scenes — finally pays off. The Capitol Christmas Tree tradition has been an AOC responsibility for nearly 50 years. In...

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