Blooming cherry trees, tulips, magnificent oaks and magnolias—these are the images conjured when thinking of the Capitol Grounds. However, there is another side to the Capitol Grounds, one that looks a little different—but is just as beautiful—especially if you like big jobs, big trucks and digging in the dirt.
This year, the Capitol Power Plant marks 100 years of steady service of steam and chilled water to heat and cool the Capitol. In that century of service, the plant has undergone significant changes as new buildings were built, and more modern and efficient equipment was installed.
Adjacent to Interstate 295, in DC’s Anacostia neighborhood, hides a labyrinth of greenhouses that are home to some of the world’s most exotic and beautiful plants. The greenhouses form their own world with 17 unique environmental zones where the orchids radiate vibrant colors, the herbs emit a delicious aroma and the holiday spirit is alive year-round among the poinsettias.
At the... More »
The Capitol Rises During the Civil War
Walk through the U.S. Capitol in the winter when a fireplace is working, and the smoky smell of burning wood might transport you to the 1800s, when during the Civil War, the building housed its own bakery to help feed the troops who were temporarily garrisoned for about a month at the Capitol.... More »
The Architect of the Capitol Trims the Capitol Christmas Tree
"People think we're like firemen, sitting and waiting for a fire," says Building Services Supervisor Matt Washington, who oversees the AOC Service Center for the House Office Buildings. "The reality is that we're always looking for more ways to be proactive instead of reactive."
U.S. Botanic Garden
“We don’t have pandas.” That’s the challenge that U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) Education Specialist Libby Rhoads and all of the Architect of the Capitol's educators and public programmers face as they try to entice course participants to learn more about the Capitol and Grounds beyond what they see on a standard tour.
Rhoads, who began working... More »
Turing wood into marble, metal into wood, one dimensional into three dimensional; these are all “tricks” of the trade for the painters of the Architect of the Capitol.
“We make a lot of things look like something they are not,” said Cori Wright, assistant supervisor painter and decorator for the Capitol Building (and 2012 Winner of the Washington Post “Peeps Show” — dioramas made from... More »
Inauguration at the Capitol takes a team effort to pull together, and planning for the event begins as soon as the previous inagural ends. Take a behind the scenes look at AOC's role in this event.
At noon on January 20, 2009, the polished brass doors on the West Front of the Capitol gleamed. Thousands of chairs glistened in the winter sun. Red, white and blue flags... More »