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.
History & Discoveries

Historic Firsts: Capitol Hill Elevators

By erin nelson | March 23, 2017

A celebration of the passenger elevator's birthday leads to a search for the U.S. Capitol's historic first elevator. Follow along as we investigate through clues from the archives including correspondence in the 1870s, records, books, floor plans and other reports.

From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: Design with Purpose

By stephen t ayers | March 15, 2017

Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers describes his love of birds, especially the great blue heron, and their role in the focal point of Capitol Square's perimeter wall. As one approaches the central Olmsted fountain, it's easy to sense that this is both a great place and a place of greats.

Behind the Scenes

A Woman's Perspective: Turning Challenges into Opportunities and Personal Growth

By deatra trinidad | March 8, 2017

The AOC's Deputy Facility Manager at the United States Supreme Court Building began her engineering career path from a love of roller coasters. Now, in an effort to give back to the community, she volunteers with school robotics competitions and at STEM type expositions.

Behind the Scenes

Women's History Month: Christine A. Merdon

By erin courtney | March 8, 2017

The first female Chief Operating Officer for AOC reflects on the experiences that introduced her to extraordinary women and helped shape her management style. She serves as an inspiring example to young women interested in competing – and succeeding – in historically male-dominated fields.

History & Discoveries

A Sweet 2016

By sarah davis | December 29, 2016

This past year has been filled with many sweet moments around the Capitol campus. Here are 10 that stand out.

Programs & Events

Take Five: The U.S. Botanic Garden

By devin dotson | December 21, 2016

Things don't slow down just because it's winter. See five reasons to explore the U.S. Botanic Garden this season, including tropical flowers like this Epicatanthe Volcano Trick Orange Fire orchid.


It's About Time

By franklin bradley | December 15, 2016

Time has taken its toll on the United State Capitol's stone, but our preservation effort will restore even the finer details, hand-carved by artisans. The more complex items are being recreated by a stone carver on-site, who is carving from the same stone blocks the original craftsmen worked.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Jack of All Trades

By erin nelson | December 8, 2016

The Capitol Building's Insulation Division is as "behind the scenes" as you can get, often working within containments to ensure the safety of those who visit and work on the U.S. Capitol campus. In addition to insulation, the shop also performs dust control and hazardous materials abatement.

From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: A Progression of the Imagination

By stephen t ayers | December 5, 2016

The entry sequence and progression through spaces are carefully thought out by architects as buildings are designed. Architect of the Capitol Stephen Ayers describes how we can experience Capitol Hill's magnificent national treasures the way they were originally imagined.

Behind the Scenes

Cool Tools: Squaring Off With History

By franklin bradley | December 1, 2016

A special tool helps our stone masons repair and replace the mortar in the low stone walls lining Capitol Square.

Doing Good

Modern-Day Superhero

By justin kieffer | November 17, 2016

Each one of us has the ability to learn a new skill that we are passionate about and then use that gift in ways that can help others.Each one of us has the ability to learn a new skill that we are passionate about and then use that gift in ways that can help others. This doing good story is of an AOC employee who volunteers with Angel Flight Soars, working to transport cancer patients and others to treatment centers.

Programs & Events

An Idaho Gem to Grace Capitol Lawn

By ted bechtol | November 2, 2016

It can be hard to find a tree in the forest that meets all of the Capitol Christmas Tree criteria, but the Superintendent of Capitol Grounds has done it again.

History & Discoveries

Haunted Halls of Congress: 5 Creepy Capitol Legends

By erin courtney | October 21, 2016

Given that the United States Capitol was once expected to be the final resting place for George Washington, replete with a crypt, should we be surprised that multiple Capitol-related ghost stories exist? Discover the myths, mysteries and folklore of this historic American building.

History & Discoveries

Capitol Discovery

By erin courtney | October 7, 2016

It's been more than 500 years since Christopher Columbus sailed the ocean blue. See how his 15th century journey was depicted by 19th century artists in art throughout the U.S. Capitol, including frescoes by Brumidi, a sandstone relief and the bronze the Columbus Doors by Randolph Rogers.