Elliott Woods was appointed "Superintendent of the Capitol Building and Grounds" in 1902 by President Theodore Roosevelt to fill the vacancy caused by Edward Clark’s death. Because Woods was not an architect, the name of the office was changed to "Superintendent." The title reverted to "Architect of the Capitol" in 1921 as a way of honoring Woods, who had successfully managed the construction of the monumental House and Senate office buildings (now called the Cannon House Office Building and the Russell Senate Office Building) and the Capitol Power Plant.
Born in England during his parents' travel abroad in 1865, Woods had a high school education. He joined Clark's office in 1885 and worked his way up to become Chief Assistant and de facto head of the agency during the last few years of Clark's life. His appointment was greeted with skepticism by the architectural community, but Woods proved to be an effective administrator and was popular in Congress. He died in office in 1923.