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

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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
History & Discoveries

The Lincoln Catafalque in the U.S. Capitol

By aoc.curator | April 15, 2015

To commemorate the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln’s death, AOC Curator Barbara Wolanin details the days he lay in state at the U.S. Capitol.

History & Discoveries

A Most Magnificent Ruin: The Burning of the Capitol during the War of 1812

By aoc.curator | August 22, 2012

In retaliation for the Americans' recent burning of the Canadian capital at York (Toronto), British troops descended on Washington, D.C., to set fire to much of the city. Follow the August 1814 path the British took to burn the U.S. Capitol and learn more about damage done to this historic building.

History & Discoveries

The Liberty Cap in the Art of the U.S. Capitol

By aoc.curator | January 29, 2013

The liberty cap was the symbol of freedom and liberty commonly used in the 19th century and is seen in many places in the United States Capitol.

History & Discoveries

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

By devin.dotson | July 23, 2020

For 200 years, the United States Botanic Garden (USBG) has been showcasing plants to visitors from around the globe. The USBG was originally proposed by George Washington to establish a place for Americans to learn about useful and engaging plants.

History & Discoveries

How The Crypt Got Its Name

By aoc.curator | March 4, 2013

Is anyone buried in the U.S. Capitol? The term "crypt" has long referred to a space beneath the main floor of a church or a chamber in a mausoleum. For many of us it suggests somber, stony silence and perhaps dusty coffins. The Capitol Crypt, however, is a different thing altogether.

History & Discoveries

Capitol Illumination

By franklin.bradley | March 12, 2013

The Architect of the Capitol works to make the United States Capitol dome, an enduring symbol of democracy recognized throughout the world, visible to all throughout the night. Learn more about this history of the lighting of this iconic building and the area called "tholos."

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

Six Special Rooms by Brumidi

By sarah.davis | July 2, 2019

Brumidi worked on an impressive number of projects in the U.S. Capitol, including: the House Committee on Agriculture room, Lyndon B. Johnson Room, Senate Reception Room, the President's Room, the Committee on Naval Affairs room and the Senate Committee on Military Affairs room.

History & Discoveries

Bells, Buzzers, Clicks and Clocks

By sharon.gang | October 2, 2014

In a world where everyone carries a cell phone and some carry more than one, people still check the historic clocks on the Capitol campus for the time of day.

History & Discoveries

Evolution of Women in Art at the U.S. Capitol

By michele.cohen | July 17, 2018

An in-depth look at the evolution of women in art at the U.S. Capitol. First appearing primarily as allegorical figures representing ideals, not individuals. Later, as women took on more prominent positions in society and won basic rights, greater opportunities and visibility have led to more.

Doing Good

Capitol Visitor Center Employees Find Ways To Give

By laura.trivers | June 9, 2020

The coronavirus inspired many of us to wonder what, if anything, we could do to help when it seemed the needs around us were overwhelming. Two Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) employees found a way and are using their skills to make a difference as our communities fight the virus.

Behind the Scenes

Capitol Building Self-Inspections

By erin.nelson | June 16, 2020

The Architect of the Capitol continues to evaluate how best to keep our employees safe.

Projects

Continuous Care of the U.S. Capitol Roof

By laura.condeluci | March 25, 2020

Like most beloved national treasures from the Golden Gate Bridge to the Statue of Liberty, the U.S. Capitol Building roof requires continuous care. Once a section has been replaced, it is regularly inspected as part of preventive maintenance.