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

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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.
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.

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.