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

Bold Legacies Endure

By franklin bradley | March 30, 2018

A story highlighting two women artists of the National Statuary Hall Collection as we celebrate Women's History Month. Sculptors Joy Flinsch Buba and Anne Whitney both have works of art on display in the U.S. Capitol with the Florence Sabin statue and the Samuel Adams statue, respectively.

History & Discoveries

Then & Now: Capitol Building Superintendent's Office

By erin nelson | March 27, 2018

Take a look back at the U.S. Capitol's baking operations during the Civil War. When Congress was not in session, the House and Senate Chambers were used to house troops, the Rotunda became a makeshift hospital and bakeries were created in the basement and terraces in the center of the building.

History & Discoveries

Congress' Role in Time

By matt ericson | March 21, 2018

Why change our clocks twice a year, spring forward and fall back? The idea of saving the daylight goes back centuries. The Capitol Visitor Center hosted a workshop to think about these issues and learn about Congress' role in time including the Standard Time Act of 1918 and the Uniform Time Act.

Behind the Scenes

Looking Ahead for Talent — Finding the Next Win

By aoc staff | March 19, 2018

Not all internships are created equal. The Architect of the Capitol strives to make the intern experience substantive, challenging and rewarding. And that philosophy was evident during the piloting of the AOC's new work-for-credit intern program in the House Office Buildings.

From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: A Washington Connection

By stephen t ayers | March 13, 2018

Two pieces of art featuring George Washington have a special connection to Stephen Ayers' time serving as Architect of the Capitol. One is a sculpture in the Old Senate Chamber and the other, a portrait by William Dunlap, is one of the oldest works of art in the U.S. Capitol.

History & Discoveries

Symbolism Roars to Life on Capitol Hill

By marty shore | March 6, 2018

Imagery of the lion is well-represented in the art and architectural details of the U.S. Capitol campus in Washington, D.C. Historically, lions were used in architectural ornamentation to provide a sense of strength, majesty and awe, especially on public buildings.

Behind the Scenes

Cool Tools: The Ditch Witch

By erin courtney | March 1, 2018

This year's snow removal training exercise included a friendly competition between offices and jurisdictions on a new piece of equipment.

Programs & Events

Supporting the Final Goodbyes of a Grateful Nation

By erin courtney | February 26, 2018

The U.S. Capitol Rotunda has long been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens. Lying in Honor calls for coordination across the campus, and the solemnity of the event requires a commitment to excellence to ensure no detail is overlooked.

Programs & Events

Exploring Orchid Diversity

By devin dotson | February 21, 2018

Found on every continent except Antarctica, orchids showcase a wide spectrum of diversity in color, shape, size, habitat, scent and many other aspects.


Leave No Stone Unrestored

By justin kieffer | January 11, 2018

All around the U.S. Capitol campus, there is something that you cannot avoid seeing as you look at the historic buildings: stone. Stone preservation will continue to be a priority of the Architect of the Capitol as the best way to maintain these buildings is to constantly monitor them.

Programs & Events

Poinsettias Flourish at the U.S. Botanic Garden

By devin dotson | December 22, 2017

The gardeners have grown more than 3,000 poinsettia plants to brighten up the United States Botanic Garden Conservatory's annual holiday exhibit "Season's Greenings." An expert team at USBG cares for the annual poinsettia crop with daily attentiveness starting in July.

History & Discoveries

Ten Memorable Moments of 2017

By sarah davis | December 20, 2017

Before we dive into 2018, here's a look back at some of this year's highlights.

Behind the Scenes

Solving Problems One Challenge at a Time

By erin courtney | November 29, 2017

One of the Architect of the Capitol's strategic goals is to foster an innovative and empowered workforce. Here are a few examples of what that looks like in day-to-day operations at the AOC from a team in the House Office Buildings and from the Capitol Grounds crew.

History & Discoveries

Plenty to Be Thankful For

By sarah davis | November 20, 2017

The cornucopia, a traditional symbol of the Thanksgiving holiday, appears in a variety of places in the U.S. Capitol including the Rotunda and Brumidi Corridors. Frequently depicted in classical art, this "horn of plenty" is a cone-shaped object overflowing with fruits, grains and/or vegetables.