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.

Projects

Olmsted Lanterns Restoration

The large bronze and glass lanterns are mounted on stately sandstone piers with intricately carved sandstone caps.
Doing Good

A Series of Compassionate Events

By justin kieffer | August 16, 2017

One person's small act of compassion can start a chain reaction of kindness. This doing good story is of an AOC woodcrafter supervisor who volunteers with an organization focused on providing physical, mental and emotional aid through its orphanage, school, health clinic in Kenya.

Behind the Scenes

Two Thumbs Up for Taking the Edge Off

By franklin bradley | August 9, 2017

A small and seemingly simple tool used by the Architect of the Capitol sheet metal mechanics reduces injuries by saving hands, which is why we give it two thumbs up as a cool tool. This deburring tool removes sharp edges from metal which must be custom fit to unique spaces.

History & Discoveries

The Doors to Nowhere

By erin nelson | August 2, 2017

Few doors are created to lead to nowhere, but that is exactly where the U.S. Capitol's famed Amateis Doors have always led. As plans were being developed in 1901 to reface the West Front, designs began for a set of bronze doors that would be comparable to those at the entrances of the East Front.

History & Discoveries

Then & Now: U.S. Capitol Courtyards

By erin nelson | July 19, 2017

A look back at the transformation of the courtyards that once existed on the U.S. Capitol's West Front. Originally, they had provided natural light and ventilation to the basement but, as the need for more space materialized, they became meeting rooms, offices and connecting hallways.

From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: What We Hold Precious

By stephen t ayers | July 12, 2017

Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers reflects on use of precious in decorative elements of the Library of Congress, including the Torch of Knowledge, Great Hall and Main Reading Room. Gold, copper, bronze and aluminum elements play an important role in the inspiration of the Jefferson Building.

History & Discoveries

Three Quacks for Union Square Duck Ramps

By erin courtney | May 15, 2017

Since its completion, the Capitol Reflecting Pool in Washington, D.C, has been a popular attraction – for ducks and humans! See the ramps developed to safely and effectively assist ducklings climbing out of the pool or returning to it once out of the water.

Behind the Scenes

Family Connections at the Capitol

By wayne kehoe | April 24, 2017

Being at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., can be a family affair, literally! A volunteer at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center describes two pieces of U.S. Capitol art that he has a connection to through his ancestors - William Brewster and Johnathan Trumbull.

Doing Good

A Supreme Choice for Developing Area Youth

By sarah davis | April 19, 2017

What started as a boy's after-school project request has turned into a man's mission. This doing good story is of an AOC Supreme Court electrician who volunteers with 4-H, a youth development organization that aims to provide young people with hands-on learning experiences.

History & Discoveries

Artfully Yours, Benjamin Franklin

By erin courtney | April 17, 2017

Benjamin Franklin remains one of the most celebrated figures in American history. From birth to death, Franklin led a complex and interesting life. The many pieces of art in the United States Capitol Building that include his image reflect his immense impact on our nation's development.

History & Discoveries

By the Numbers: Senate Fountain

By andrew dentamaro | April 12, 2017

One of the overlooked gems on Washington D.C.'s Capitol Hill, the Senate fountain, is nestled between Union Station and the U.S. Capitol, atop the Senate upper park. The hexagonal granite fountain operated for the first time in July 1932 and is designed with many unique features.

History & Discoveries

Then & Now: Madison Building

By franklin bradley | April 5, 2017

A look back at the founding of the James Madison Memorial Building.

History & Discoveries

Falling Into Spring

By erin courtney | March 29, 2017

Spring is the season of new beginnings when the Earth seems to come to life again. But it is the year-round planning, preparation and hard work of the Capitol Grounds team that ensures buds bloom, vibrant colors delight and fragrant flowers excite the senses on Capitol Hill.