Summer officially starts this week and the weather in Washington, D.C., is getting warmer. While water features on the U.S. Capitol campus look cool and refreshing, they aren't designed for humans to play in.

These small areas of urban "blue space" may provide other benefits though, including mental tranquility and increased creativity. Below is a collection of seven water features that inspire.

1. Olmsted Fountains

An Olmsted fountain on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol.

Near the central entrance of the U.S. Capitol and the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center are two large fountains designed by Frederick Law Olmsted that often feature floral displays.

2. West Front Fountain

Octagonal fountain on the Wast Front of the U.S. Capitol.

The octagonal fountain on the West Front of the U.S. Capitol has a circular basin with eight planters just beneath the water's surface. During preparations for Presidential Inaugurations, this fountain is covered by the special platform built for the occasion.

3. Garden Court Pools

One of the pools in the U.S. Botanic Garden's Conservatory.

Take a break from the heat and go inside the U.S. Botanic Garden's (USBG) Conservatory, where two identical pools flank the main entryway.

4. Vessel Fountain

Vessel fountain in the U.S. Botanic Garden's Mediterranean Room.

Another water feature found at the USBG Conservatory is in the Mediterranean Room. This fountain features a glazed clay vessel that streams water into a larger basin below.

5. Rayburn Courtyard Fountain

The courtyard fountain at Rayburn House Office Building.

The Rayburn House Office Building, along with most of the other congressional buildings on campus, has a fountain in its central courtyard. Thirteen jets create the main display in its basin.

6. Pan of Rohallion Fountain

The Pan of Rohallion fountain seen in the courtyard entrance to Whittall Pavilion.

Located in the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building's northwest interior courtyard, a small bronze statue of the Greek god serves as a fountain just outside the entrance to Whittall Pavilion.

7. Supreme Court Building Lion Spouts

Lion heads serve as spouts for water in this fountain at the Supreme Court Building.
Lion heads serve as spouts for water in this fountain at the Supreme Court Building.

This water feature, built into the east side of the Supreme Court Building on 2nd Street, discharges water from three sculpted marble lion heads into a long thin basin.

Read about previous U.S. Capitol campus water features we've highlighted on the AOC blog.

Add new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • Web page addresses and email addresses turn into links automatically.

Recent News

Noteworthy Updates

Behind the Scenes

Capitol Building Self-Inspections

The Architect of the Capitol continues to evaluate how best to keep our employees safe. One of the important ways we're advancing our safety efforts is through self-inspections, which are part of the agency's Strategic Plan.