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

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Ten Steps to Energy Savings and Sustainability for your Office
The Architect of the Capitol’s Legacy of Sustainability began with the setting...

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The Flanagan clock with marble columns in the background
In a world where everyone carries a cell phone and some carry more than one,...

News & Notices

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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Bringing History to Life

November 25, 2011

AOC employee handles a Civil War artifact with care
The Capitol Rises During the Civil War Walk through the U.S. Capitol in the winter when a fireplace is working, and the smoky smell of burning wood might transport you to the 1800s, when during the Civil War, the building housed its own bakery to help feed the troops who were temporarily garrisoned for about a month at the Capitol. The fourth Architect of the Capitol, Thomas U. Walter, provided a vivid description of the scene at the Capitol at that time. In May 1861, he wrote to his wife: “There are 4,000 in the Capitol, with all their provisions, ammunition and baggage, and the smell is...

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Architect of the Capitol to Expand Sustainability Programs Capitol-wide

August 04, 2011

Daniel J. Strodel, Chief Administrative Officer for the House of Representatives, and Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, Architect of the Capitol, announced today that the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) will assume and expand the House of Representatives’ sustainability initiatives formerly conducted by the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO). This will further improve efficiencies in the effort to reduce energy consumption on Capitol Hill. The CAO’s organization brought a number of sustainability issues to the forefront for the House of Representatives, and identified a number of energy and...

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