The Architect of the Capitol has a legacy and ancestry that is rooted in the...


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News & Notices

One Team, One Mission, One Day

September 28, 2012

AOC employees hang flags and bunting in preparation for the 2009 Inaugural
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 and bunting fluttered in a cold breeze. Hundreds of Architect of the Capitol staff, who had helped plan, construct, secure, set up, clean, procure and organize the 56th Presidential Inauguration held their collective breaths as...

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Master Illusionists of Capitol Hill

August 31, 2012

AOC Capitol jurisdiction decorative painters create a faux marble fireplace.
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 Peeps marshmallows). “Or we make something that has been put into a space disappear,” adds AOC “rookie” decorative painter, Ben Roberts, who joined the AOC Capitol jurisdiction this spring.   The men and women...

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Inauguration Construction

August 30, 2012

Beginning Monday, September 10, 2012, the lower terrace of the West Front of the U.S. Capitol will be closed for construction of the 2013 Presidential Inaugural stands. Fencing is being erected around the construction site and there will be no access to the Member and staff entrance on the lower terrace.   The West Front will be re-opened in mid-February 2013 following the Inaugural activities and the removal of the stands.    The Presidential swearing-in takes place on Monday, January 21, 2013, since January 20, 2013, is a Sunday. S. Con. Res 35 established January 21, 2013, as the...

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Capitol Reflecting Pool Undergoing Annual Cleaning and Inspection

June 01, 2012

The Architect of the Capitol's Capitol Grounds staff has begun draining the Capitol Reflecting Pool today (June 1, 2012) in order to complete the annual cleaning and inspection. The work will take approximately two weeks.  The Capitol Reflecting Pool is located at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, DC. Six acres in size, it occupies over half of the area called Union Square. It is set into a plaza that includes, on the east, the Ulysses S. Grant memorial; to its west is a tree-dotted grassy area that extends to Third Streets, NW and SW. Nearby tourist destinations include...

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Capitol Curriculum: Enticing Educational Inititiatives

May 16, 2012

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 for the AOC in 2008 as an intern through the George Washington Museum Education Program, is in charge of preparing the USBG’s inspiring range of educational programs that encourage people to investigate plants and the science of...

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Delivering Extraordinary Customer Service

May 14, 2012

Senate Building Services Supervisor David Douglas and Building Inspector Sharon Garavito-Lyons meet with Darla Ripchinsky, chief clerk of the U.S. Senate Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship.
"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." This approach is shared by the AOC Service Centers in the Senate Office Buildings and the Capitol Building. All three service centers employ building inspectors who regularly visit Member, committee and staff offices to provide proactive service, asking if their customers have any needs or questions. The inspectors...

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