Delve deeper into the stories behind the people, art, history and grounds.

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One of the four Olmsted lanterns on the west side of the U.S. Capitol Grounds, restored in 2020.


Olmsted Lanterns Restoration

The large bronze and glass lanterns are mounted on stately sandstone piers with intricately carved sandstone caps.
Behind the Scenes

Capitol Building Self-Inspections

By erin nelson | June 16, 2020

The Architect of the Capitol continues to evaluate how best to keep our employees safe.

Doing Good

Capitol Visitor Center Employees Find Ways To Give

By laura trivers | June 9, 2020

The coronavirus inspired many of us to wonder what, if anything, we could do to help when it seemed the needs around us were overwhelming. Two Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) employees found a way and are using their skills to make a difference as our communities fight the virus.


Continuous Care of the U.S. Capitol Roof

By laura condeluci | March 25, 2020

Like most beloved national treasures from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. Capitol Building roof requires continuous care. Once a section has been replaced, it is regularly inspected as part of preventive maintenance.

Behind the Scenes

Cool Tools: Plasma Cutting Machine, a Matter of Precision

By kate holder | March 10, 2020

This computer numerical control (CNC) plasma cutter is a cool tool on the U.S. Capitol campus. It allows the Sheet Metal Shop to cut parts, components and signage that it could never before do efficiently, if at all.

Programs & Events

A Christmas Spruce from the Land of Enchantment

By jim kaufmann | November 6, 2019

The Architect of the Capitol selects the annual U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in consultation with the United States Forest Service. Follow along as our Director of Capitol Grounds and Arboretum travels to the Carson National Forest in New Mexico to select the 2019 tree.


Fire Egress at the Library of Congress

By erin nelson | September 3, 2019

The Architect of the Capitol's Construction Division with the support of the AOC Library Buildings and Grounds jurisdiction worked together to complete the Fire Door Improvements project in the Thomas Jefferson Building, improving fire safety within this historic space.

Programs & Events

U.S. Botanic Garden Orchids Gain 600 New Siblings

By devin dotson | August 6, 2019

This newly donated collection — the second largest single donation in U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) history — adds to the rich heritage and importance of the USBG's orchid collection. The donation came from orchid grower Joe Francis, who lives in northern Virginia.

History & Discoveries

Charles De Witt: Founding Farmer, A Life of Service

By franklin bradley | July 23, 2019

Starting in the 1650's, the De Witt family settled in and around Kingston, New York, and was prominent in the early history of Ulster County. Colonel Charles De Witt's career extended far beyond his home county, including being named as delegate to the Continental Congress.

History & Discoveries

Six Special Rooms by Brumidi

By sarah davis | July 2, 2019

Brumidi worked on an impressive number of projects in the U.S. Capitol, including: the House Committee on Agriculture room, Lyndon B. Johnson Room, Senate Reception Room, the President's Room, the Committee on Naval Affairs room and the Senate Committee on Military Affairs room.

Programs & Events

Cool Tools: Capitol Materials Cart

By erin courtney | June 5, 2019

The new U.S. Capitol Materials Cart Program showcases a variety of AOC trades, including masonry, sheet metal, paint and wood-crafting. The cart's trays allow Capitol visitors to see and touch elements of the building often out of reach or hidden to an untrained eye.

History & Discoveries

Dancing by Dawn's Early Light

By franklin bradley | May 21, 2019

Did you know that the 15,000-pound bronze Statue of Freedom, standing atop the 9 million pounds of cast iron of the U.S. Capitol Dome, dances every day?

History & Discoveries

Rediscovering Blackjack

By erin courtney | May 14, 2019

During a recent renovation at the U.S. Capitol Building, members of the Architect of the Capitol uncovered a long-forgotten painting of the famous horse, Blackjack. During his tenure, Blackjack took part in the funerals of Presidents Hoover, Kennedy and Johnson as well as General MacArthur.

History & Discoveries

Personal Artifacts of a Capitol Artist

By aoc curator | May 6, 2019

Several artifacts were passed down through Brumidi's family and given to the Architect of the Capitol over a span of years beginning around 1961. The items include a nickel-plated oval box, a Bible, a small framed photograph, a prize medal, a sterling silver fruit knife and two napkin rings.

Behind the Scenes

Preparing for the Moment Opportunity Knocks

By erin nelson | April 10, 2019

Employee spotlight on an Architect of the Capitol elevator mechanic who started as a night shift laborer in the U.S. Capitol building and has continued to rise through the ranks by participating in on-the-job training and taking agency-sponsored courses.