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

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This painting by Allyn Cox depicts the cornerstone laying ceremony and is currently on display in the House Wing of the U.S. Capitol Building.
The cornerstone was laid on Wednesday, September 18, 1793, during the first...

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A view of the Capitol Visitor Center lit up at night
The Office of Congressional Accessibility Services (OCAS) provides a variety...

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AOC Gardener at the U.S. Botanic Gardener handling some orchids
Information about working for the Architect of the Capitol:

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Small Business Industry Day at AOC
The Architect of the Capitol is hosting a Small Business Day on Tuesday,...

Theodore R. Bechtol

A photographic portrait of Theodore R. Bechtol
Superintendent, Capitol Grounds

Theodore R. Bechtol, Jr. came to the Architect of the Capitol in 2005 as Deputy Superintendent for the Capitol Grounds Jurisdiction. In October 2007 he was selected to be Superintendent and is responsible for the landscape maintenance of nearly 275 acres of the Capitol Complex, including seasonal flower displays, specimen tree maintenance and preservation of the historic landscape designed and developed by Frederic Law Olmsted during the late 19th Century. The Capitol Grounds Division has approximately 65 employees including gardeners, arborists, masons, plumbers and mechanics. Additional to the plant material, the Capitol Grounds has a large amount of historic stone walls, decorative statuary and fountains that requires specialized maintenance. The jurisdiction supports a wide variety and size of special events held on the Grounds throughout the year.

Prior to his current position Mr. Bechtol worked as a horticultural manager at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, DC. Other positions over the years include Superintendent of Gardens and Grounds at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, DE, and Horticulturist at the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, MD. Several other landscape management positions have been held in county park systems and in the private sector with always an interest in arboriculture, cultural landscape preservation, and integrated pest management. As a collateral duty he represents the Architect on the board of the Historic Congressional Cemetery.

Mr. Bechtol has a Bachelor of Science degree in both Ornamental Horticulture and Environmental Resource Management, with a minor in Forestry, from The Pennsylvania State University.