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Behind the Scenes

Article

By laura.condeluci | April 1, 2016
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) focuses on energy and sustainability efforts in a cost-effective manner to maintain efficient, high-performing and healthy buildings across the Capitol campus. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 required the AOC to annually reduce its energy
History & Discoveries

Article

By erin.courtney | March 16, 2016
March 16 marks the birthday of our nation's fourth president. James Madison co-wrote the Federalist papers and sponsored the Bill of Rights. To celebrate this special occasion, we are highlighting the art featuring or including Madison on the Capitol campus. The most visible homage to the "Father of
Behind the Scenes

Article

By erin.courtney | March 2, 2016
During World War II, an iconic image that emerged to represent American women working in factories and shipyards while men were serving in the military, was Rosie the Riveter. The image was used to encourage women to enter the workforce to serve the war effort in factories. In 1948, three years
History & Discoveries

Article

By erin.courtney | February 22, 2016
Our first president undoubtedly had a significant impact on the nation, the U.S. Capitol and the city that bears his name. While George Washington did not take the oath of office in the District of Columbia, he did help choose the location of the capital city, selected commissioners who retained
Doing Good

Article

By laura.condeluci | January 27, 2016
For the past six years, Paul Miller, Elevator Mechanic Supervisor, has called on his experience with elevators at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to create an elevator training program for freshmen at the Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School (Phelps). It's one way Miller
Doing Good

Article

By laura.condeluci | January 20, 2016
When Barron Dill (pictured above, second from right) was in college, he had the opportunity through his scholarship program to be mentored by professionals in the engineering field. It was an experience that deeply impacted him and led to his decision to serve as a mentor himself in college. He
Projects

Article

By michele.cohen | January 7, 2016
The major bronze elements of the Ulysses S. Grant Memorial consist of a heroic figure of the Civil War Commander of the Union Armies on horseback and two groups of figures representing artillery and cavalry troops in tumultuous action. Sculptor Henry Merwin Shrady created men, horses and equipment
History & Discoveries

Article

By erin.courtney | January 6, 2016
Twenty years ago today, snow began to fall on the Mid-Atlantic region. A lot of snow! Over the course of the next 24 hours, more than 12 inches of snow blanketed the nation's capital. In outlying suburbs of the Washington metro area, municipalities struggled to clear away nearly two feet of the
Programs & Events

Article

By erin.courtney | December 2, 2015
The mild and misty December air crackled with excitement as the Architect of the Capitol, members of Congress, congressional staff, Capitol Hill neighbors and tourists gathered on the West Front Lawn for the lighting of the Capitol Christmas Tree. The majestic Lutz spruce, selected months ago by the
Programs & Events

Article

By ted.bechtol | October 28, 2015
The Chugach National Forest stretches across south-central Alaska from Prince William Sound to the Kenai Peninsula, and was the national forest selected to provide the 2015 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. How do you pick just one tree from an area the size of New Hampshire? As the Superintendent of the
History & Discoveries

Article

By franklin.bradley | October 22, 2015
In 2016, a Congressional Gold Medal was presented in recognition of the Monuments Men. Below highlights just a few of these heroes with their accomplishments seen on Capitol Hill, from the outside of the buildings to the rooms and artwork within. Under enemy fire, Monuments Man Roscoe DeWitt
Behind the Scenes

Article

By erin.courtney | October 14, 2015
Eight months ago, Raynell Bennett, Director of Planning, Evaluation and Operations for the U.S. Capitol, received a telephone call that would keep her office and many others throughout the capitol campus very busy. Pope Francis accepted an invitation from Speaker of the House of Representatives John
Programs & Events

Article

By sharon.gang | July 23, 2015
When Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) Guide John Claya encountered a guest with a visual disability near the Old Supreme Court Chamber, he used a creative tool to help her "see" the room. On Thursday, July 9, John was passing through the Small Senate Rotunda toward the Crypt when he noticed a family of
Projects

Article

By r.c.vaughn | July 8, 2015
Architect of the Capitol's R.C. "Skip" Vaughn, Capital Projects Administrator, gives a quick project update from the building utilities phase of the Cannon Renewal. As part of the Cannon Renewal Project, the team is using ground penetrating radar (GPR) to plan and execute its work. GPR drawings
History & Discoveries

Article

By sharon.gang | June 30, 2015
Few traditions associated with Senate furniture are as intriguing as the "candy desk" on the floor of the Senate Chamber. Although the desks on the Senate floor are cared for by the Senate, and not the Architect of the Capitol, they provide a fascinating story to share with friends. In 1965, Senator
History & Discoveries

Article

By matt.guilfoyle | June 26, 2015
The U.S. Capitol Building Rotunda is among the most recognizable and hallowed spaces within all of America's public buildings. The Rotunda is used for important ceremonial events, including the lying in state of eminent citizens such as President John F. Kennedy and Rosa Parks, the awarding of
Doing Good

Article

By erin.nelson | May 13, 2015
What do you want to achieve in your lifetime? How will your achievements improve the world and define your legacy when you are gone? While these are hard questions for even the most mature adults, they are questions Emmanuel Akinjide poses to every high school student he mentors. "I want to help
History & Discoveries

Article

By sharon.gang | June 4, 2015
The benches currently in the Capitol Rotunda were used in the chapel at Saint Elizabeths Hospital for many years. The photo above shows the benches in the chapel, which was decorated for Christmas circa 1896. History The AOC cares for the benches in the Capitol Rotunda whose cast-iron supports and
Projects

Article

By laura.condeluci | April 27, 2015
The Grant Memorial sits in silent, yet powerful repose beneath the shadow of the U.S. Capitol Dome, serving as a timeless sentinel to the heroism, valor, strength and also the anguish our nation endured when it was torn apart by the Civil War. During the war, the Capitol was briefly used by Union
Projects

Article

By aoc.staff | April 10, 2015
Restoring the U.S. Capitol Dome is a massive project. It's exciting to uncover the artistry of a long-gone era and to see elements of the Dome that have not been seen for decades. More than 1,300 cracks in the nearly nine million pound cast iron Dome are being repaired by experts working day and
Behind the Scenes

Article

By ted.bechtol | October 29, 2014
By Ted Bechtol, Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds For two beautiful summer days in late July, I traveled around Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota, to search for the perfect U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. It is my job, as Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds, to evaluate and select
Programs & Events

Article

By ted.bechtol | October 29, 2014
For two beautiful summer days in late July, I traveled around Chippewa National Forest in Cass Lake, Minnesota, to search for the perfect U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree. It is my job, as Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds, to evaluate and select the Capitol Christmas Tree from a different national
Doing Good

Article

By erin.nelson | October 22, 2014
In today's world there is no shortage of articles, news segments and seminars on couponing, but few, if any, offer the return and success that Richard Edmonds and his church have found through their food pantry. As a member of Riva Trace Baptist Church and volunteer for their community projects
Behind the Scenes

Article

By erin.nelson | October 16, 2014
While the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) core mission is to preserve the buildings in our care, we realize that to be successful, preserving knowledge is just as important as preserving the buildings. In a period of tightening budgets, success will be determined by investing in the employees of
History & Discoveries

Article

By sharon.gang | October 2, 2014
In a world where everyone carries a cell phone and some carry more than one, it is surprising that people still check the historic clocks on the Capitol campus for the time of day. On a weekly basis, Library Buildings and Grounds Electrician Eugene (Geno) Blowe winds the magnificent clock above the
Behind the Scenes

Article

By kristen.frederick | October 1, 2014
While commuting to work in Washington, D.C., will always be a challenge, few modes of transportation leave the commuter with this feeling: invigoration. In fact, that's how Shaun Abell, Horticulturist with the U.S. Botanic Garden, describes his daily commute by bike every morning. And he's in good
Projects

Article

By matt.guilfoyle | September 29, 2014
"The Madison Building is taking on water," said Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) Historic Preservation Officer Mary Oehrlein. And the Madison Building isn't alone. Viewed from a distance, the buildings of Capitol Hill are inspiring and impressive, but as with an impressionist painting, it's best to
History & Discoveries

Article

By sharon.gang | May 20, 2014
Next time you're in Statuary Hall on the second floor of the U.S. Capitol near the House Chamber, look closely at the windows behind the statues of Jefferson Davis and Uriah Milton Rose on the east side of the room. They may look like windows, but they're not. In the late 1990s, when the demand for
History & Discoveries

Article

By matt.guilfoyle | May 12, 2014
As Congress meets in the halls of the U.S. Capitol, a small group of AOC employees toil in the heat a few hundred yards away to help a living national treasure thrive in an urban center. This is the National Garden at the U.S. Botanic Garden. Conceived as an outdoor laboratory for gardening in
Programs & Events

Article

By erin.nelson | May 8, 2014
Capitol Hill, with its rich history and iconic buildings, allows for an eclectic mix of professions. Jim Saenger, the Capitol's Carillonneur, has perhaps one of the most unique and least visible jobs on the Hill. His contractual agreement with the Architect of the Capitol, directed by the 1963