The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is pleased to reopen the Capitol Rotunda following the successful completion of its restoration.

Preserving the historic Rotunda is a priority for the AOC. Water leaking through the Capitol Dome and into the building caused more than a 1,000 cracks, damaging paint, cast iron, stone and decorative elements in the Rotunda.

Beginning in July 2015, and throughout the restoration process, the AOC repaired ironwork, upgraded electrical and mechanical systems, installed new lighting, removed hazardous materials and returned the paint scheme to more historically accurate colors.

"We are proud to welcome members of Congress, staff and the public back into this beautiful, hallowed space that is so important to our democracy," said Stephen T. Ayers, Architect of the Capitol. "We appreciate the trust and support of the American people who believed in us to carefully restore one of the most recognized spaces in American history."

"This is an important step in the final phase of the Capitol Dome restoration. Work continues in the interstitial space – between the outer dome and inner dome – and the exterior of the Dome but reopening the Rotunda is a milestone for our agency and the country at large," said Ayers.

The Capitol is visited by more than 2 million visitors each year. Since 1824, the Rotunda is where our nation recognized some of our most solemn and celebratory events including laying in state and dedication of works of art. Tradesmen and experts from historic preservation officers to engineers, craftsmen and painters worked day and night to restore this hallowed space.

For additional information about the restoration, please visit

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Fall 2020 Issue of Tholos Magazine Now Available

Article themes and highlights include Beyond the Dome at Congressional Cemetery, Spotlight on Safety, Doing Good, a project update on the Olmsted lanterns and By the Numbers for Presidential Inauguration 2021.