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Doing Good

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By erin.nelson | April 21, 2014
Buddy Paddy spends his days caring for the trees on Capitol Hill as a Tree Surgeon with the AOC Capitol Grounds. His job involves examining approximately 4,500 trees throughout the year to ensure that they are healthy and continue growing to maturity. His evenings are spent in much the same way, as
Behind the Scenes

Article

By aoc.staff | April 1, 2014
Here at the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), our challenge is unique – we must maintain aging, iconic buildings while adapting to state-of-the-art technology and increasing responsiveness to environmental, security and safety considerations in a rich historical setting. A building’s lifetime
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | March 24, 2014
As Curator for the Architect of the Capitol (AOC), I have been responsible for evaluating and advising on many of the new statues and busts that are accepted by Congress for the United States Capitol, from marble busts of vice presidents to statues in the National Statuary Hall Collection. Many new
History & Discoveries

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By sharon.gang | March 19, 2014
When I point out the Car of History clock in National Statuary Hall to friends and family I inevitably get the same question: "Where's the car?" This marble sculpture, created in 1819, is among the oldest works of art in the Capitol. It depicts Clio, the muse of History, holding a book in which she
History & Discoveries

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By lori.taylor | February 25, 2014
As I entered the Garden Court in the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) Conservatory my senses came alive from the aroma of hundreds of orchids, the sight of colorful blooms — from deep orange to vibrant purple and the sounds of a symphony playing and fountains splashing. The warmth of the garden was a
History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | February 7, 2014
Not every fine art sculptor inspires a character in a WWII action blockbuster starring George Clooney, but not every sculptor is Walker K. Hancock, one of the Monuments Men, whose work resides in the U.S. Capitol, Library of Congress and the Supreme Court of the United States, and who is a true
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.staff | February 3, 2014
Andria Leo, archivist for the Architect of the Capitol, digs through historical documents in the AOC's archives to uncover new history. The Capitol Grounds have long been a haven for wildlife, with residents ranging from squirrels to red-tailed hawks to a red fox. But sheep? If it had been left up
History & Discoveries

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By lori.taylor | December 2, 2013
When tracing back through history, it’s hard to pinpoint the exact day when the construction of the U.S. Capitol Building was completed. The Capitol, like the nation it represents, has continued to grow and change over the years, all the way up until the most recent addition of the Capitol Visitor
Programs & Events

Article

By lori.taylor | November 25, 2013
The 2013 Capitol Christmas Tree arrives today, November 25, at 10 a.m. on the U.S. Capitol Grounds follow along here as the tree arrives and AOC staff put it into position on the West Front of the Capitol. This year's tree is an Engelmann spruce from the Newport Ranger District of the Colville
History & Discoveries

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By erin.nelson | November 12, 2013
The Architect of the Capitol manages all of the buildings and grounds on Capitol Hill, but also oversees several facilities around the National Capital Regional. One of which is the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG) Production Facility. I recently had a chance to tour the facility and learn about the
History & Discoveries

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By kristen.frederick | October 31, 2013
While the U.S. Capitol has plenty of ghost stories and legends galore, no one is actually buried in the building — even though it contains a room called the Crypt! The Congressional Cemetery, on the other hand, has thousands of dead souls resting in its 35 acres of grounds. Never heard of the
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | July 31, 2013
Architect of the Capitol archives reveal historical documents showing the purchase of the first bike racks on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. Back in 1896, the Lawn Cycle Stand Manufacturing Co. was hired by the AOC to provide bike stands for the United States Capitol Building. Parking in
History & Discoveries

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By kristen.frederick | May 13, 2013
Kristen Frederick serves as Congressional Liaison for the Architect of the Capitol. Throughout the U.S. Capitol Building's 220-year history, there have been many workers who have labored in obscurity, their names forever lost to the passage of time. Recently when I was researching the third
History & Discoveries

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By matt.guilfoyle | April 15, 2013
AOC Public Affairs Officer Matt Guilfoyle watches "Lincoln" and "Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter"-- and is surprised by which film more accurately depicts the U.S. Capitol. Instead of going to the movies, I am one of those people who "wait to see it on-demand" and recently had the opportunity to
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | April 11, 2013
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) was among the first to bring squirrels into Washington, D.C. and to place the "interesting little animals" on the Capitol Grounds. Architect of the Capitol Elliott Woods played a major role in this endeavor. The earliest discussion of squirrels in AOC's archival
History & Discoveries

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By lori.taylor | April 8, 2013
Spring in Washington, D.C. is one of the most beautiful times to visit the nation's capital; it is also the busiest. The warmer weather and blooming of plants makes Capitol Hill picturesque and inviting. One of the most popular attractions in the city are the beautiful cherry blossoms on the Tidal
History & Discoveries

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By matt.guilfoyle | March 18, 2013
Walk in the footsteps of the masons and laborers who worked the quarry at Government Island in Aquia, Virginia, to gather stone for the U.S. Capitol more than 200 years ago. On a cold March day, I decided to take a field trip back in time to a place where you can run your hands along history, and
History & Discoveries

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By franklin.bradley | March 12, 2013
Each morning this week, as I've walked in the dim Daylight Saving Time pre-dawn light up to the Capitol, I've crossed paths with scores of my Architect of the Capitol (AOC) colleagues as they head home after a full night's work. These AOC employees work each night to get the buildings of Congress
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | March 4, 2013
The term "crypt" has long referred to a space beneath the main floor of a church or a chamber in a mausoleum. For many of us it suggests somber, stony silence and perhaps dusty coffins. The U.S. Capitol Crypt, however, is a different thing altogether. This brightly lit circular room below the
History & Discoveries

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By matt.guilfoyle | February 20, 2013
For an organization known as the Architect of the Capitol – celebrating engineers may not be without controversy. But as a communication professional, I am neutral in the timeless "battle" between these two professions. And, in truth, America's greatest buildings could not have been built without
Programs & Events

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | February 8, 2013
Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP, reflects on the AOC's role in supporting the annual State of the Union Address. Every winter, Congress has the honor of welcoming the President of the United States to the U.S. Capitol for the annual State of the Union Address. As we do every
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | January 29, 2013
The liberty cap was the symbol of freedom and liberty commonly used in the 19th century and is seen in many places in the United States Capitol. This soft cap evolved as a combination of two earlier symbolic head coverings. The peaked red Phrygian cap was worn in present-day Turkey as early as 800 B
History & Discoveries

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By stephen.t.ayers | January 22, 2013
"Even at the United Nations, where legend has it that the building was designed so that there could be no corner offices, the expanse of glass in individual offices is said to be a dead giveaway as to rank. Five windows are excellent, one window not so great." –Enid Nemy Recently I was honored to
Behind the Scenes

Article

By aoc.curator | January 15, 2013
We first mounted a digital camera atop the Library of Congress Thomas Jefferson Building in 2004. It was the perfect location to document the construction of the Capitol Visitor Center. Since the building was being constructed underground we needed to shoot from above to have a good view of the
History & Discoveries

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By matt.guilfoyle | December 12, 2012
Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) Matt Guilfoyle investigates the myth of the Mayan Calendar at the U.S. Capitol. The Mayan Calendar has drawn a lot of attention lately, largely surrounded by myth and misunderstanding. It has even drawn focus to a lesser-known image in "The Frieze of American History
History & Discoveries

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By usbg.staff | December 5, 2012
Landscape Architect Nick Nelson details the process he undertook to design the 2012 Season's Greenings holiday exhibit at the U.S. Botanic Garden (USBG). For most people, the thought, "Is it the holidays already?" usually hits right around Thanksgiving, but it happens a couple of seasons earlier for
History & Discoveries

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By sharon.gang | November 30, 2012
December 2 has been an important anniversary at the U.S. Capitol since 1863 when the final section of the Statue of Freedom was installed atop the dome. The accomplishment was heralded by gun salutes from the forts that ringed Washington. Since 2008, however, December 2 has signified another
History & Discoveries

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By aoc.curator | November 26, 2012
I took this photo of Bartholdi Fountain just after it returned from its recent restoration in 2011. The fountain had been off site for more than two years so this photo would help reintroduce this stunning sculpture to the world. One of the key elements of the restoration was restoring the glass
History & Discoveries

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By matt.guilfoyle | November 9, 2012
One of the greatest privileges of working for the Architect of the Capitol is knowing we have our hands on history everyday and we are afforded the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of the giants of America's past. Perhaps no other person looms larger in that history than Abraham Lincoln. The
Programs & Events

Article

By aoc.curator | October 24, 2012
Autumn color on Capitol Hill is a beautiful reminder of the passing year, visible against a gleaming backdrop of architectural permanence. The combination of lightness and gravitas makes for great photography. I'm very pleased here to share some thoughts after several autumns of photography on the