The Summerhouse on the Capitol Grounds surrounded by pink azalea flowers.
A few ideas to help you in planning a visit to Capitol Hill.


The Architect of the Capitol’s challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic buildings; adapting state-of-the-art technology; and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting.
The Architect of the Capitol's challenge is unique – maintaining aging, iconic...


Scene "Cortez and Montezuma at Mexican Temple" from the Frieze of American History in the Capitol Rotunda
AOC's Matt Guilfoyle investigates the myth of the Mayan Calendar at the U....

Who We Are

Theodore R. Bechtol Jr.

Capitol Grounds

As the Superintendent of Capitol Grounds, Mr. Theodore R. Bechtol Jr. is responsible for preserving and maintaining over 290 acres of historic landscape and infrastructure across the Capitol campus. His jurisdiction performs routine and periodic landscape maintenance, mowing, comprehensive tree care, and upkeep of the supporting infrastructure, vehicles and equipment. Snow and ice removal, trash collection, and support for major events, such as the annual December Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony, fall under his jurisdiction's responsibilities as well. Mr. Bechtol also represents the Architect of the Capitol on the Historic Congressional Cemetery board.

Prior to being promoted to his current position in 2007, Mr. Bechtol had served as the Deputy Superintendent for Capitol Grounds since 2005.

Before joining the Architect of the Capitol, Mr. Bechtol worked as a horticultural manager at the U.S. Soldiers' Home in Washington, D.C. Other positions over the years include Superintendent of Gardens and Grounds at the Hagley Museum and Library in Wilmington, Delaware, and Horticulturist at the Hampton National Historic Site in Towson, Maryland. He has also held several other landscape management positions in county park systems and in the private sector with focuses on arboriculture, cultural landscape preservation and integrated pest management.

Mr. Bechtol has a Bachelor of Science degree in both ornamental horticulture and environmental resource management, with a minor in forestry from The Pennsylvania State University.