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

Subscribe to receive Blog updates via email.

Stone preservation on the U.S. Capitol.


At the AOC, It's Always Home Improvement Time

While most people have one structure to take care of, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is hard at work on multiple projects to care for the buildings across Capitol Hill.
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.

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.