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.
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.


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.

Behind the Scenes

Lighting the Way to Energy Savings

By franklin bradley | April 12, 2016

The Senate Jurisdiction's emphasis on energy-efficient lighting was integral to meeting our agency-wide energy reduction goal.

History & Discoveries

Water Features Everywhere

By sarah davis | April 7, 2016

There are more than 20 water features that Architect of the Capitol cares for. Spanning across the U.S. Capitol campus, each of the House office buildings, Senate office buildings, Library of Congress buildings, Supreme Court buildings and the U.S. Botanic Garden have some type of fountain or pool.


Stopple Valve System

By r c vaughn | April 5, 2016

A new technology now allows waterlines to remain filled while workers install a new valve. By deploying this construction best practice, the Cannon Renewal Project will save a tremendous amount of natural resources, require less manpower and result in savings to the American taxpayer.

Behind the Scenes

AOC Achieves 10-Year Energy Reduction Goal

By laura condeluci | April 1, 2016

The Architect of the Capitol's approach to sustainability and energy efficiency on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C., is built upon three defining elements: buildings, infrastructure and people. We are very proud of our recent accomplishment of 30 percent energy reduction.

Doing Good

A Veteran Helping Veterans

By sharon gang | March 29, 2016

This doing good story is of an AOC electrician who volunteers with Heroes on the Water, a national organization that helps veterans from all branches of the United States military unwind using the therapeutic qualities of fishing from kayaks.

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.