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

Subscribe to receive Blog updates via email.

This 1873 photograph shows how the USBG's first Conservatory had grown from a single Victorian greenhouse to this large, five-part Conservatory with 14 support greenhouses.

History & Discoveries

U.S. Botanic Garden at 200: Deeply Rooted, Branching Outward

For 200 years, the U.S. Botanic Garden has been showcasing plants to visitors from around the globe. Originally proposed by George Washington to establish a place for Americans to learn about useful
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.

Programs & Events

Lend Me Your Ears

By andrew dentamaro | May 13, 2016

It wasn't planned at the time, but the 1793 cornerstone laying event was the first of what has become a time-honored tradition of incorporating music to mark celebratory and honorary occasions in the Nation's Capital.

Projects

What's Happening Behind the Capitol Scaffolding?

By erin courtney | May 10, 2016

To answer this question, we travel to a brick building in Vienna, Virginia, where the hum of an industrial-sized machine is unmistakable. Littering the fenced-in courtyard of the building are massive slabs of stone of all shapes and colors.

History & Discoveries

Mothers in Marble (and Bronze)

By erin courtney | May 6, 2016

In honor of Mother's Day, explore more women who have played significant roles in the development of our nation and are featured in art at the U.S. Capitol.

History & Discoveries

With Trees in Mind

By sarah davis | April 29, 2016

Celebrated annually on the last Friday in April, National Arbor Day highlights the importance of trees, their planting and their care. Architect of the Capitol employees are involved in comprehensive tree care every day throughout the year. It started in 1874 with Frederick Law Olmsted.

Behind the Scenes

Promoting a Culture of Conservation and Energy Reduction

By laura condeluci | April 25, 2016

The Architect of the Capitol maintains the facilities for the Library of Congress, and we actively work as ambassadors for energy reduction within the Library of Congress buildings, while helping maintain their invaluable and irreplaceable collection of more than 158 million items.

Behind the Scenes

Energy Savings Performance Contracts Help AOC Exceed Energy Goal

By erin courtney | April 18, 2016

Energy Savings Performance Contracts have assisted the Architect of the Capitol in completing several conservation measures around the U.S. Capitol, House office buildings and Senate office buildings. These ESPCs were an important element in our strategy to reduce energy consumption by 30 percent.

History & Discoveries

Artfully Yours, Thomas Jefferson

By erin courtney | April 13, 2016

Our nation’s third president has his successes, as well as himself, memorialized in more than 10 pieces of art in the U.S. Capitol Building.