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
From the Architect

Architect's Notebook: Inspiration by Detail

By stephen.t.ayers | March 22, 2016

The Architect of the Capitol describes how he finds inspiration every day from the beautiful details of the Capitol campus.

History & Discoveries

Celebrating Irish-American Heritage Month

By erin.courtney | March 17, 2016

For Americans of Irish heritage, there is much to celebrate. Beginning with our Nation's founding, Irishmen risked their lives to establish what would become the United States of America.

Behind the Scenes

Passing the Torch

By erin.courtney | March 16, 2016

The Curator Division's commitment to building knowledge continues to thrive under new leadership.

History & Discoveries

Artfully Yours, James Madison

By erin.courtney | March 16, 2016

To celebrate the birthday of our nation's fourth president, we are highlighting the art featuring or including James Madison on the Capitol campus.

History & Discoveries

Cool Tools: A Tuning Fork?

By franklin.bradley | March 10, 2016

Tuning forks are frequently used by musicians to adjust their instruments. So why does the Architect of the Capitol have one – and what makes it cool? Montgomery C. Meigs used this tuning fork during the 1850s Capitol Dome construction to evaluate its cast iron beams.

Behind the Scenes

Behind the Scenes: Senate Subway Branch

By elizabeth.yoder | March 7, 2016

The Architect of the Capitol's Senate Subway Branch operates two subway systems to transport senators, staff and escorted visitors between the Capitol Building and the Senate office buildings. Let these AOC employees show you what it's like to work in their specialized shop and area of expertise.

Behind the Scenes

Celebrating Women's History Month

By erin.courtney | March 2, 2016

At the Architect of the Capitol, approximately 25 percent of the workforce are women who participate in a variety of jobs on the U.S. Capitol campus. Architects, lawyers, archivists, curators, engineers, gardeners, custodians, technology developers and more are all represented by female employees.

History & Discoveries

The Lion – A Mane Attraction

By sarah.davis | March 1, 2016

The lion, with its prominent mane, is a popular symbol in art and architecture on the U.S. Capitol campus. Here are six areas where you'll find this type of cat on the Capitol campus, including a few located inside for those days when March "comes in like a lion" with cold and unpleasant weather.

History & Discoveries

Artfully Yours, George Washington

By erin.courtney | February 22, 2016

Our first president had a significant impact on the nation and, while George Washington never actually graced the halls of the United States Capitol, his presence, influence and even his likeness, is everywhere. Approximately 35 pieces of art include Washington's likeness in the U.S. Capitol.

History & Discoveries

Honoring Black History Month

By andrew.dentamaro | February 10, 2016

Black History Month marks a time to celebrate and reflect upon the role that African Americans have played in shaping the course of the USA's history. The compelling account of physical places that are important in this history certainly includes Washington, D.C., and the U.S. Capitol in particular.

Behind the Scenes

Focusing on Safety First at the Largest Library in the World

By erin.courtney | January 30, 2016

Modern technology enables the Architect of the Capitol to take precautions and prevent potentially harmful fires from ravaging our nation's treasures. Recently, AOC plumbers installed a fire protection system seamlessly into the historic fabric of the Thomas Jefferson Building.

Doing Good

Rising to the Challenge: Elevator Mechanic Challenges Students

By laura.condeluci | January 27, 2016

This doing good employee spotlight is of an Architect of the Capitol elevator mechanic supervisor who gives back by sharing their knowledge with students at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School about his specific trade expertise and of broader career opportunities.

Doing Good

Mentoring Comes Full Circle

By laura.condeluci | January 20, 2016

Volunteering at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Washington, D.C., is an experience that continues to enrich lives. This story is of an AOC employee who had the opportunity to be mentored by professionals in the engineering field, and now gives back in a similar way.


Recasting Missing Parts of the Grant Memorial

By michele.cohen | January 7, 2016

New pieces for the Grant Memorial are being cast in a Philadelphia foundry under the watchful eye of the conservator and the Architect of the Capitol team. On a recent visit, AOC employees observed the casting process in action, including the dramatic moment when the molten bronze is poured.

History & Discoveries

Let it Snow... We're Ready!

By erin.courtney | January 6, 2016

Every fall, the AOC begins preparing snow equipment, procuring rock salt and ice melt supplies, and reviewing the emergency and essential personnel snow response plans for the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. Find out more about this work and fun facts, like the coldest area of the Capitol campus.