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Benjamin Henry Latrobe was hired by President Jefferson in 1803 to fill the...

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Accessibility was a key component of the design of the Capitol Visitor Center,...

News & Notices

A Breath of Fresh Air

April 03, 2011

Adjacent to Interstate 295, in DC’s Anacostia neighborhood, hides a labyrinth of greenhouses that are home to some of the world’s most exotic and beautiful plants. The greenhouses form their own world with 17 unique environmental zones where the orchids radiate vibrant colors, the herbs emit a delicious aroma and the holiday spirit is alive year-round among the poinsettias. At the U.S. Botanic Garden’s Production Facility, approximately 30,000 plants are either waiting their turn in the spotlight or retiring for rest and relaxation after their time on display at the Conservatory. Plants at...

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A Century of Service

December 05, 2010

AOC employee at the Capitol Power Plant
This year, the Capitol Power Plant marks 100 years of steady service of steam and chilled water to heat and cool the Capitol. In that century of service, the plant has undergone significant changes as new buildings were built, and more modern and efficient equipment was installed. What hasn’t changed over the years is the commitment of the staff to ensure that the Capitol Power Plant continues to provide these necessary services.   A Brief History   The need for a central heating and electric plant became apparent in the beginning of the 20th century when planning began for the first House...

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Architect of the Capitol Exceeds Small Business Contracting Goals

November 08, 2010

Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, announced that the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) exceeded its Small Business Contracting goals for Fiscal Year 2010. During the opening session of the AOC’s Small Business Industry Day on November 5, 2010, Ayers shared the news with local small business owners who attended the event to learn more about doing business with the AOC. “Our organization is very committed to working with and encouraging small businesses to effectively compete for Architect of the Capitol contracts,” said Ayers. “This ensures that we receive the best value...

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Under Grounds: The E Street Garage Band

August 15, 2010

The AOC Capitol Grounds Maintenance Division
Blooming cherry trees, tulips, magnificent oaks and magnolias—these are the images conjured when thinking of the Capitol Grounds. However, there is another side to the Capitol Grounds, one that looks a little different—but is just as beautiful—especially if you like big jobs, big trucks and digging in the dirt. This is a place where you’re unlikely to see many butterflies or a lot of pastel colors—this is a place where words like compacting, blades, grading, grinding and power take precedence.   “I love operating equipment,” says Frank Long, 23-year veteran of the AOC. “Especially the backhoe...

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Stephen T. Ayers Confirmed by United States Senate to Serve as 11th Architect of the Capitol

May 12, 2010

Portrait of Stephen T. Ayers Confirmed by United States Senate to Serve as 11th Architect of the Capitol
On May 12, 2010, the United States Senate, by unanimous consent, confirmed Stephen T. Ayers, AIA, LEED AP, to be the 11th Architect of the Capitol. "It is a wonderful honor and privilege to have been confirmed last night by the United States Senate to be Architect of the Capitol. I appreciate the trust the Congress has placed in me, and for the support it has given our organization, and I thank President Obama for nominating me. "I am extremely proud to have been selected to lead the AOC team. Our many accomplishments and successes have truly been a team effort. I look forward to the work and...

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Dome Keepers

March 13, 2010

AOC employees patch the roof of the U.S. Capitol
  The iconic “Walter dome” atop the Capitol is recognized around the world as a symbol of American strength and freedom. During its construction from 1855 to 1866, perhaps the greatest threat to the dome was the outbreak of the Civil War. To protect the capital city, a garrison of Union soldiers was stationed within the Capitol.   Since that time nearly 150 years ago, while the Union was restored, multiple forces have been unrelenting in their attack on the Capitol—time, weather, and nature.   Today, a small unit of men has the task of protecting and preserving this most important American...

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