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

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Black and white picture of Frederick Law Olmsted  best known for designing the grounds of New York City’s Central Park, the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., the Biltmore Estate in North Carolina, and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.
Regarded as the founder of American landscape architecture, Frederick Law...

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Prohibited Items at the U.S. Capitol Building
In order to ensure the safety of visitors and staff and to preserve the...

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Spring 2014 Cover Image
The Architect of the Capitol magazine, Foundations & Perspectives,...

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The United States Capitol in 1846, with its original dome designed by Charles Bulfinch
Throughout the U.S. Capitol Building’s 220-year history, there have been many...

Theodore R. Bechtol

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.