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.
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.

Programs & Events

Sowing the Seeds of Victory

By erin courtney | November 15, 2017

To mark the centennial of the U.S. entering World War I, Library Buildings and Grounds staff recreated period-appropriate "War Gardens."

Programs & Events

Finding "The One"

By ted bechtol | November 9, 2017

Finding "the one" is pretty similar whether you're searching for true love or the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. Follow along as AOC's Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds travels during the summer to Kootenai National Forest in northwest Montana and selects the 2017 tree.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Senate Office Buildings Masonry Branch

By elizabeth yoder | November 1, 2017

Some Architect of the Capitol employees are highly visible, while others work behind the scenes to preserve the awe-inspiring facilities on Capitol Hill. Go behind the scenes to learn more about the work of the Senate Office Buildings Masonry Branch beginning at 4 a.m. each morning.

History & Discoveries

Who or What Goes There?

By erin courtney | October 31, 2017

On Friday, October 13, Architect of the Capitol employees set out to look into a new Capitol Building mystery involving delicate pink fabric with hand-stitching. Construction sites often yield historic artifacts, including bottles, newspapers and tools, but this find is new for the agency.

History & Discoveries

Renovated Bartholdi Park is a SITE(S) to Behold

By devin dotson | October 25, 2017

An in-depth summary of a recent renovation at the U.S. Botanic Garden's Bartholdi Park to increase accessibility and incorporate areas of sustainable landscaping including hydrology, vegetation, soil, materials and human health. The park is poised to welcome visitors from around the globe.

History & Discoveries

Then & Now: O'Neill House Office Building

By erin nelson | October 18, 2017

A brief history of the O'Neill House Office Building. Originally known as Federal Office Building No. 8, and once home of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the U.S. House of Representatives voted to name the building after the late former Speaker of the House Thomas P. "Tip" O'Neill in 2012.

From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: Signs of Respect

By stephen t ayers | October 11, 2017

The Architect of the Capitol believes that when making additions to historic buildings, especially on the U.S. Capitol campus, we are not to copy or try to match the historic building, but rather we are to differentiate the new features so we don't create a false sense of history.