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

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Members of the House of Representatives sit in unassigned armchairs arranged in a semicircle on tiered platforms that face the Speaker's rostrum. Behind the rostrum is a frontispiece with Ionic columns made of black Italian marble with white Alabama marble capitals. An American flag occupies the center and is flanked by two bronze faces. The chamber's lower walls are walnut paneled with intervening light grey Genevieve Sheldorado marble pilasters. A gallery for visitors and the press corps rings the chamber
The House Chamber, also known as the "Hall of the House of Representatives,"...

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A crowd of people visiting the Capitol during visitor hours
Visitor Hours for the Buildings on Capitol Hill.

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An AOC worker mowing the grass on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol
The roles and responsibilities of the Architect of the Capitol cover an...

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The Statue of Freedom atop the U.S. Capitol
This is the first in a series of occasional articles, written by the Architect...

What's New

AOC Launches U.S. Capitol Dome Restoration

The Capitol at Dawn
Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The United States Capitol Dome, symbol of American democracy and world-renowned architectural icon, was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago. The Dome has not undergone a complete restoration since 1959-1960 and due to age and weather is now plagued by more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies.

Pitted and corroded acorn finial on Capitol Dome

Pitted and corroded acorn finial on Capitol Dome. (view more images of damage)

This fall the Architect of the Capitol will begin a multi-year project to repair these deficiencies, restoring the Dome to its original, inspiring splendor and ensuring it can safely serve future generations of visitors and employees as the roof of the Capitol.

“As stewards of the Capitol for the Congress and the American people, we must conduct this critical work to save the Dome,” said Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP. “From a distance the Dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees. On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome.”

Following a full and open competitive bidding process, a contractor was selected to perform the project while under close oversight by the AOC to ensure the project remains on time and on budget. The project will begin this November, with the majority of work conducted at night and on weekends to ensure minimal disruption to Congressional business, events and public tours.

Rendering of Scaffolding - Day
Rendering of scaffolding

For approximately two years residents and visitors will see a scaffold system surrounding the entire Dome from the base of the Statue of Freedom down to the top of the Dome skirt (base of Dome). Scaffold towers and scaffold bridging will also be constructed on the west side of the U.S. Capitol Building to help move materials to the work areas.

At the interior of the Capitol Rotunda, a white canopy system in the shape of a doughnut will be installed to protect the public. The configuration allows the Apotheosis of Washington, in the eye of the Rotunda, to be seen throughout the restoration process. A covered walkway through the Rotunda is required as the canopy system is installed at the beginning of the project, as well as at the end of the project.

Updates on the restoration and more information about the Capitol Dome can be found at: www.aoc.gov/dome or by following AOC on twitter @USCapitol.

 

Contact: Justin Kieffer, AOC senior communications specialist, at jkieffer@aoc.gov or 202.226.7102.

Additional resources for media are available at www.aoc.gov/dome/media.