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

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This 1873 photograph shows how the USBG's first Conservatory had grown from a single Victorian greenhouse to this large, five-part Conservatory with 14 support greenhouses.

History & Discoveries

U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward

For 200 years, the U.S. Botanic Garden has been showcasing plants to visitors from around the globe. Originally proposed by George Washington to establish a place for Americans to learn about useful
History & Discoveries

In Pictures: A Green Roof Comes Alive

By aoc.curator | August 6, 2012

What had previously been an unusable outdoor tennis court on the Dirksen Senate Office Building roof has been transformed by plantings, drought-resistant and stays green all year long. View photos of the steps along the way and the final aerial image which shows a special design the pathways make.

History & Discoveries

AOC Trailblazer: Georgia Shaw

By kristen.frederick | July 12, 2012

Georgia Shaw was the first woman hired by the AOC as a draftsman, leading to a fulfilling 29-year career with the agency. After Georgia passed, her daughter honored her mother’s legacy by including the AOC’s logo on the memorial plaque that marks her grave.

Doing Good

Doing Good: Riding and Raising for Research and Treatment

By kristen.frederick | June 8, 2012

This doing good story is of an Architect of the Capitol employee who makes a meaningful difference through an annual bike-a-thon supporting the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute. In 2011, he was one of more than 5,500 cyclists rode in the event through 46 towns across Massachusetts.

Doing Good

Discovering the Joys of Teaching — and Learning

By kristen.frederick | May 17, 2012

Courses taught by Architect of the Capitol employees help communicate business culture and expectations, as well as important skills that high school students can apply to future educational and occupational pursuits. The AOC's first venture with Phelps High School was in January 2009.

Doing Good

Doing Good: Employees Give of Themselves

By kristen.frederick | March 4, 2012

While most people can be blood donors, only five percent of the eligible population actually donates — making AOC's Kevin and Gloria true heroes, even if they don't consider their efforts extraordinary.

History & Discoveries

Presidents in Art

By aoc.curator | February 27, 2012

Presidents Don't Sleep Here--But They're Honored in Art!

Programs & Events

A Holiday Tradition: AOC Trims the Tree

By lori.taylor | November 17, 2011

Preparing the Christmas tree is a true team effort for the Architect of the Capitol. Find out how we work around the clock from tree selection to arrival, decoration and lighting.

Behind the Scenes

Industrial Mechanics: Behind the Scenes, but not Waiting in the Wings

By franklin.bradley | October 20, 2011

Equivalent in size to six Empire State Buildings, the buildings of the U.S. Congress and Supreme Court must be operational at all times. Maintaining them at the highest level possible demands the best effort of the employees of the Architect of the Capitol and their equipment.

Behind the Scenes

Set in Stone—How the AOC Honors Historic Preservation

By kristen.frederick | May 24, 2011

The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for the preservation and maintenance of the stone exterior of the U.S. Capitol as well as the exteriors of all of the other buildings on Capitol Hill. As the buildings have aged, the challenge of caring for their ornate stone facades has only increased.

Behind the Scenes

A New Home for a Capitol Treasure

By kristen.frederick | January 21, 2011

It took both brawn and brains to move a beautiful (and hefty) treasure when the Magna Carta display was moved from the Capitol Rotunda to its new home in the Capitol Crypt.

History & Discoveries

Capitol Power Plant: A Century of Service

By aoc.staff | December 5, 2010

The Capitol Power Plant has undergone significant changes as new buildings were built, and more modern and efficient equipment was installed, but what hasn't changed is the commitment of the staff. The plant's staff are highly-skilled and extremely dedicated — many have worked there for decades.

History & Discoveries

100 Year-Old Russell Senate Office Building: Getting Some "Work Done"

By aoc.staff | May 13, 2010

The Russell Senate Office Building is looking really good for its age but, to keep it in tip-top condition, the Architect of the Capitol spent some time studying the building's exterior in preparation to clean, repair and restore the exterior envelope of this historic building.

History & Discoveries

Dome Keepers

By matt.guilfoyle | March 13, 2010

The iconic "Walter dome" atop the Capitol is recognized around the world as a symbol of American strength and freedom. During its construction from 1855 to 1866, perhaps the greatest threat to the dome was the outbreak of the Civil War. To protect the capital city, a garrison of Union soldiers was stationed within the Capitol.