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.
Delve deeper into the stories behind the people, art, history and grounds.
Behind the Scenes
By the Numbers: Presidential Inauguration 2021
Displaying 1 - 15 of 247
By aoc staff | January 15, 2021
Hear from a few employees about the incredible effort they and their teams put forward in the aftermath of the Capitol breach on January 6, 2021.
By erin nelson | January 4, 2021
Every four years Americans cast their vote for president in November and watch as the newly elected president takes the oath of office the following January. Architect of the Capitol (AOC) staff also spend these months preparing for the inauguration at 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.
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.
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.
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.
By sharon gang | September 28, 2012
Presidential inaugural ceremonies at the United States Capitol take a team effort to pull together, and planning for the event begins as soon as the previous Inauguration ends. Take a behind-the-scenes look at AOC's role in this event, including platform construction and a materials infographic.
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.
By matt guilfoyle | November 9, 2012
Today, one cannot walk far in the U.S. Capitol without seeing a likeness or connection to President Abraham Lincoln and the tumultuous period he served in Congress and the White House. A good place to begin walking in his footsteps is outside on the East Front in the shadow of the Capitol Dome.
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."
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.
By stephen t ayers | January 22, 2013
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers reflects on the almost 600,000 square feet of windows – of all different shapes, size and age – cared for by the AOC.
Before and After: Hearing Room Renovation for the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation
By elizabeth yoder | July 8, 2020
The Senate Office Buildings jurisdiction recently completed a project to restore the hearing room for the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation (SR-253) in the Russell Senate Office Building.
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.