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History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | April 3, 2019
Have you seen the skylights in National Statuary Hall? Did you know that Thomas Jefferson was the inspiration behind them? If you haven't seen them, you didn't miss them — the skylights haven't been in Statuary Hall, the former House of Representatives Chamber, for over 200 years. So long, in fact
Behind the Scenes

Article

By erin.courtney | March 26, 2019
Under a bright blue cloudless sky, Ronnie Pfiffer, Capitol Grounds and Arboretum pipefitter, stood on the West Front looking down with the focus and concentration of a Jedi. In his hands, he held not a lightsaber but a RIDGID SeekTech SR-60 Locator. The black and gold underground utility locator
History & Discoveries

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By kristen.frederick | February 12, 2019
One of the main goals of the Cannon Renewal project is to preserve as much of the Cannon House Office Building's historic material as possible, allowing future generations the opportunity to experience and marvel at what was created at the turn of the 20th century. When stone, wood and glass are
History & Discoveries

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By kate.holder | February 8, 2019
The Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) Capitol Building jurisdiction preserves and maintains the U.S. Capitol with the help of its many shops such as the Carpentry, Electrical, Masonry, Paint and Plumbing divisions. At a critical time in the building's evolution, there was also a Capitol Bronze Shop
History & Discoveries

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By kristen.frederick | January 3, 2019
During the process of renewing the Cannon House Office Building, workers have found hidden treasures that had been lost or discarded by the laborers who constructed the building more than 100 years ago. Here's a small sampling of what has been discovered since the start of the Cannon Renewal project
History & Discoveries

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By kristen.frederick | December 18, 2018
The year is 1881. In September, U.S. President James Garfield has unexpectedly died due to complications from a thwarted assassination attempt that occurred in July. A day later, Chester A. Arthur is sworn in as president. The population of the United States is just north of 50 million people, and
Behind the Scenes

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By erin.courtney | November 27, 2018
It is easy to take for granted an ordinary day strolling across the beautiful landscaped grounds of the U.S. Capitol. Chirping birds, chittering squirrels, humming lawnmowers and the excited voices of children on their first visit to Washington, D.C., make up the soundtrack of the Capitol campus. In
Programs & Events

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By jim.kaufmann | November 1, 2018
The Architect of the Capitol selects the annual U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree in consultation with the United States Forest Service.
History & Discoveries

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By michele.cohen | July 17, 2018
Women have long played roles in Capitol art. In the 19th century, they appeared primarily as allegorical figures in murals and architectural sculpture representing ideals, not individuals. However, as women took on more prominent positions in society and won basic rights (such as the vote, in 1920)
History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | June 28, 2018
The night before his assassination, President Lincoln dreamed that he was standing in a ship under full sail, rapidly approaching an indefinite shore. He reported having this dream before every major event of his presidency. Although those dreams were surely symbolic, Lincoln entered and left
History & Discoveries

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By laura.trivers | June 21, 2018
The Capitol Visitor Center serves as the main entrance for visitors to the U.S. Capitol. It is a facility rich with informational exhibits, two gift shops, a cafe and two orientation theaters to enhance the visitor experience. AGE 10-YEARS OLD In December 2018, the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) will
Behind the Scenes

Article

By antonio.edmonds | May 14, 2018
As Director of Security Programs (OSP) for the Architect of the Capitol, keeping the U.S. Capitol campus safe is job one. And it is also a team effort – one that could not happen without the dedication and professionalism of the United States Capitol Police (USCP). This week, during the observation
History & Discoveries

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By michele.cohen | April 17, 2018
Since 1863, Thomas Crawford's marble sculptural group "Progress of Civilization" has stood in the pediment above the Senate doors on the East Front of the Capitol. Its details have always been difficult to see from the ground, but the scaffold erected for the recent stone restoration project allowed
History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | March 30, 2018
In March, we celebrate Women's History Month as bursts of bright color spring from blossoms across the campus. Just as these first flowers must be the most hardy to survive the blustery transition from winter into spring, the women represented around the U.S. Capitol are no shrinking violets. Don't
History & Discoveries

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By erin.nelson | March 27, 2018
Since its founding in 1793, the United States Capitol Building has been an enduring symbol of freedom and the democratic process that happens within its walls. Photos of the building are in no short supply, especially in Washington, D.C., where the 288-foot tall building looms in the skyline. Photos
History & Discoveries

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By matt.ericson | March 21, 2018
On March 10, 2018, the Capitol Visitor Center hosted a teacher workshop to think about these issues and learn about Congress' role in time. The "Congress and Time" workshop included a tour of Capitol clocks with House Curator Farar Elliott and a session building a sundial with Lee Coykendall
History & Discoveries

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By marty.shore | March 6, 2018
It is said, "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb." Many people reference this saying when discussing the weather. And historically, some of our biggest snow accumulations and stormiest weather have pounced the Capitol campus in early March only to be nuzzled out by warm sunshine and
Behind the Scenes

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By erin.courtney | March 1, 2018
Well before winter, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) prepares snow equipment, procures rock salt and ice melt supplies, and reviews the emergency and essential personnel snow response plans. And with good reason. Clearing snow around the Capitol complex in January 2018. The AOC is responsible for
Programs & Events

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By erin.courtney | February 26, 2018
The Rotunda of the United States Capitol has long been considered the most suitable place for the nation to pay final tribute to its most eminent citizens. On Wednesday, February 28, 2018, the late Reverend Billy Graham will be brought to the U.S. Capitol to lie in honor. With this distinction
Programs & Events

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By laura.trivers | January 31, 2018
"Ladies and gentlemen," the committee chair said, calling to order the newly sworn in senators. "We have important business to consider today. The Chesapeake Bay Watershed needs our help to lessen nitrogen run-off – and its environmental impacts." The chair of the Environment and Public Works
Projects

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By justin.kieffer | January 11, 2018
All around the U.S. Capitol campus, there is something that you cannot avoid seeing as you look at the historic buildings: stone.
Programs & Events

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By ted.bechtol | November 9, 2017
Sometimes you know right away, when you catch a glimpse through the crowd, then time slows down and your heart skips a beat. Sometimes you recognize the potential, but want to keep your options open in case something better comes along. Sometimes people may think you're being too picky, but you just
History & Discoveries

Article

By andrew.dentamaro | November 8, 2017
The Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) legacy is rooted in the very beginnings of Washington, D.C., with the laying of the U.S. Capitol cornerstone in 1793. As the country grew, so did the Capitol campus and, with it, the AOC's responsibilities. Click the image above to enlarge. Over the course of our
Behind the Scenes

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By elizabeth.yoder | November 1, 2017
Some Architect of the Capitol employees are highly visible, while others work behind the scenes to preserve the awe-inspiring facilities on Capitol Hill. Go behind the scenes to learn more about the work of the Senate Office Buildings Masonry Branch beginning at 4 a.m. each morning.
Behind the Scenes

Article

By franklin.bradley | August 9, 2017
A small and seemingly simple tool used by the Architect of the Capitol sheet metal mechanics reduces injuries by saving hands, which is why we give it two thumbs up as a cool tool. This deburring tool removes sharp edges from metal which must be custom fit to unique spaces.
History & Discoveries

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By erin.nelson | August 2, 2017
In 1901, Congress passed legislation to appropriate funds for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to submit plans for reconstructing the center of the U.S. Capitol, a project that included refacing the West Front in marble. As plans were being developed, Superintendent of the U.S. Capitol and Grounds
History & Discoveries

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By erin.nelson | July 19, 2017
There is always a story waiting to be uncovered in the U.S. Capitol — not of politics or policy, but of the building itself. A building of such prominence and formal tradition would seem unlikely to have undergone so many changes over the decades, but our iconic U.S. Capitol continues to change to
History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | June 14, 2017
A president fleeing Washington, D.C. A lost silver plate under the U.S. Capitol cornerstone. A U.S. flag with 15 stripes. When British troops burned the U.S. Capitol and White House during the War of 1812, these three lesser-known elements of American history came together. In the brutal summer heat
Behind the Scenes

Article

By kristen.frederick | May 25, 2017
How did Elliott Woods, someone with only a high school education, become the sixth Architect of the Capitol? Described during his lifetime as hardworking and humble, Elliott Woods can be considered an American success story. Born in 1865 during his parents' overseas trip in England, Woods began his
Behind the Scenes

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By wayne.kehoe | April 24, 2017
Being at the Capitol can be a family affair, literally! Barry Boughton volunteers each Monday at the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (CVC). Originally from Michigan, Barry was an attorney who moved to Washington, D.C. in 2001. A CVC volunteer since 2011, Barry also volunteers at the Library of Congress