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

Letters and Numbers Abound

By erin courtney | September 1, 2016

A variety of letters and numbers appear on buildings or in art work on Capitol Hill.

Behind the Scenes

Help Plants Beat the Heat

By usbg staff | July 27, 2016

Just like us, plants need special care in the extreme heat. Follow these tips from the United States Botanic Garden, including finding your own location on U.S. Department of Agriculture's (USDA) plant hardiness zones map, to help protect your plants during the hottest days of summer.


Conserving the Grant Memorial

By michele cohen | July 18, 2016

The Ulysses S. Grant Memorial in Washington, D.C., is undergoing a dramatic transformation. Curator for the Architect of the Capitol describes the restoration work on the bronze components and marble pedestals. When completed viewers will again see the subtle details of the original sculpture.

History & Discoveries

Meigs' Miniatures: The Story of the Tiny Doors in the U.S. Capitol

By erin nelson | July 14, 2016

Guesses for what is behind the Capitol Building's smallest doors are as varied as the architectural details that encompass the Capitol campus. The correct explanation for their existence involves Christmas Eve, the Library of Congress and engineer Montgomery Meigs.

History & Discoveries

Artfully Yours, Alexander Hamilton

By erin courtney | July 11, 2016

With the recent Kennedy Center announcement that the award-winning musical "Hamilton" is coming to Washington, D.C., the options to explore and experience one of our Founding Fathers in our nation's capital has never been better.

History & Discoveries

5 Original Olmsted Trees

By andrew dentamaro | July 7, 2016

There are currently about 890 trees surrounding the immediate Capitol Building on Capitol Square and more than 4,300 trees throughout the entire 274-acre Capitol Grounds. Some of the most majestic and unmistakable trees on campus were planted during the Frederick Law Olmsted period.

Behind the Scenes

Keeping Your Cool at the Capitol

By burl keller | July 6, 2016

On average, July is the hottest month in Washington, D.C. Excessive heat can lead to sunburn, cramps, heat exhaustion and heat stroke. If you live on, work or visit Capitol Hill during the summer, stay alert for signs that you, a colleague or a loved one is too hot.

Behind the Scenes

The Library's HVAC Aces

By sarah davis | July 1, 2016

While the most frequent calls from building occupants are related to climate, being successful in this line of work is about more than overcoming hot and cold conditions.

History & Discoveries

USBG National Garden Turns 10

By devin dotson | June 21, 2016

Opened to the public on October 1, 2006, the National Garden is a key element of the USBG, along with the Conservatory and Bartholdi Park.

Behind the Scenes

Cool Tools: On the Cutting Edge

By lisa maltbie | June 17, 2016

The U.S. Capitol jurisdiction has introduced a new auto brake machine which offers an unprecedented capacity to bend metal. Electronically stored diagrams also save precious time that was previously spent sorting through hundreds of paper copies and manually recalling historical diagrams.

Doing Good

Bridging the Gap

By erin nelson | June 13, 2016

Millions of Americans volunteer every year, but few feel compelled to form their own organization. This doing good story is of an Architect of the Capitol employee who saw a problem in his community that had no solution, so he created one by starting his own non-profit.

Behind the Scenes

One Team, One Energy Reduction Mission

By laura condeluci | June 2, 2016

A 30 percent reduction in energy consumption is a major accomplishment. Take a look back at how we got there, and find out where we're going.

History & Discoveries

Finding a Lasting Impression

By sarah davis | June 1, 2016

Meigs was notorious for seizing opportunities to get his name inscribed on any items related to these monumental projects that he could. Recently, another permanent signature was discovered.

Behind the Scenes

A Passion for Pedaling

By jamie herr | May 18, 2016

This passionate group of Architect of the Capitol employees aims to improve biking conditions around the U.S. Capitol campus in Washington, D.C. Recently, their efforts led to the League of American Bicyclists designating AOC as a Bronze level Bicycle Friendly Business.