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Behind the Scenes

Article

By lori.taylor | October 18, 2012
It wasn't quite 4 a.m. when I arrived at the U.S. Capitol and it was a chilly 48 degrees. While I was still adjusting to the darkness and cold, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) stone masons were getting to work: cleaning the walls of the Capitol, plastering, laying stone and cutting countertops
Programs & Events

Article

By sharon.gang | September 28, 2012
Noon, 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 (AOC) staff, who had helped plan, construct, secure, set
Behind the Scenes

Article

By franklin.bradley | September 25, 2012
Year round, I often notice Architect of the Capitol (AOC) employees perched high in the trees above. I love the large, beautiful trees across Capitol Hill—they are longest standing witnesses of the history of this campus, from the burning of the Capitol by the British to the sculpting of the current
History & Discoveries

Article

By matt.guilfoyle | August 31, 2012
Turning 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 (AOC). "We make a lot of things look like something they are not," said Cori Wright, assistant supervisor painter and decorator for
History & Discoveries

Article

By matt.guilfoyle | August 28, 2012
As a professional commuter, every day I enter my "bubble" – looking at my phone, listening to music, reading my Kindle – as I travel from my home in Bristow, Virginia, to my office at the U.S. Capitol. It is easy to forget to look-up and appreciate that in a single morning commute on the Virginia
History & Discoveries

Article

By aoc.curator | August 22, 2012
Around 8 p.m., on the evening of August 24, 1814, British troops under the command of Vice Admiral Sir Alexander Cockburn and Major General Robert Ross marched into Washington, D.C., after a victory over American forces at Bladensburg, Maryland, earlier in the day. The nation was in the midst of war
History & Discoveries

Article

By sharon.gang | August 14, 2012
Two new bookmarks I worked on for the Capitol Visitor Center (CVC) celebrate Constantino Brumidi, the artist who painted the Apotheosis of Washington in the eye of the Capitol Rotunda and murals throughout the Capitol. I brought a few to my Mom, who is an accomplished artist, and encouraged her to
History & Discoveries

Article

By aoc.curator | August 6, 2012
In 2011, the 7,200 square foot middle section of the Dirksen Senate Office Building roof was replaced with a green roof. What had previously been an unusable outdoor tennis court was transformed by plantings called sedums, which is a drought-resistant plant that stays green all year long. Installing
History & Discoveries

Article

By kristen.frederick | July 12, 2012
I learned of Georgia Shaw's amazing story when her daughter, Rebecca Shaw, reached out to us on the Architect of the Capitol's Facebook page. I was immediately intrigued when Rebecca said that the AOC logo had been put on Georgia's memorial plaque after she died. What I discovered, however, is that
Doing Good

Article

By kristen.frederick | June 8, 2012
1 bike. 2 days. 190 miles. More than $11,000. Like many people, Franklin Bradley's life has been touched by cancer. When he was 16 years old, his father, Loren Bradley, died of a brain tumor. Franklin's uncle also passed away after battling mesothelioma (cancer that originates in the lining of
Doing Good

Article

By kristen.frederick | May 17, 2012
"Hey, AOC Lady!" Greetings such as these ring out at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering (ACE) High School in Northeast Washington, D.C., whenever Mary Jean Pajak, management analyst for AOC's Business Transformation Division, comes to visit. Her efforts have resulted in the AOC being
Doing Good

Article

By kristen.frederick | March 4, 2012
Every two seconds in America, someone — somewhere in the country — needs blood. Just one donation can save up to three lives. In AOC General Counsel, two employees are making a difference and doing their part to help. For almost 40 years, Deputy General Counsel Kevin Mulshine (pictured above) has
History & Discoveries

Article

By aoc.curator | February 27, 2012
Hardly a week goes by in which a visitor touring the Capitol doesn’t ask one of the Visitor Services staff, “Where does the president sleep?” The Capitol is, to be sure, a large, white, monumental structure in Washington, D.C., but it is not the president’s residence. The Capitol and the White House
Programs & Events

Article

By lori.taylor | November 17, 2011
The hanging of the Capitol Christmas Tree lights is the job of the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) Capitol Grounds Division. "When the lights of the Capitol Christmas Tree are finally turned on, everyone has that 'ahh' moment," says Tree Surgeon Supervisor George Rollins. Rollins has served with the
Behind the Scenes

Article

By kristen.frederick | May 24, 2011
As the saying goes, "Rome wasn't built in a day," and neither was the U.S. Capitol and its surrounding buildings and grounds. Since Congress first met in the Capitol in 1800, the building has undergone dramatic expansion as the size of the nation has increased. In the center of it all is the U.S
Behind the Scenes

Article

By kristen.frederick | January 21, 2011
It took both brawn and brains to move a beautiful (and hefty) treasure when the Magna Carta display was moved from the Capitol Rotunda to its new home in the Capitol Crypt. In August, the Architect of the Capitol's (AOC) Capitol Building Mason Shop, with the support of a rigging company, spent 14 ½
History & Discoveries

Article

By aoc.staff | May 13, 2010
Having just celebrated its 100th birthday last year, the Russell Senate Office Building is looking really good for its age. But, to keep it in tip-top condition, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) spent some time studying the building's exterior in preparation to clean, repair and restore the
History & Discoveries

Article

By laura.condeluci | July 29, 2015
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) works to continually improve physical access across the Capitol campus, using creative solutions to ensure the grounds and buildings provide access to all, while maintaining and preserving the historic fabric and character of Capitol Hill. While we have made great
History & Discoveries

Article

By laura.condeluci | July 28, 2015
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) works to continually improve physical access across the U.S. Capitol campus, using creative solutions to ensure the grounds and buildings provide access to all, while maintaining and preserving the historic fabric and character of Capitol Hill. While we have made
History & Discoveries

Article

By laura.condeluci | July 26, 2015
The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) works to continually improve physical access across the U.S. Capitol campus, using creative solutions to ensure the grounds and buildings provide access to all, while maintaining and preserving the historic fabric and character of Capitol Hill. While we have made
History & Discoveries

Article

By nancy.skinkle | July 22, 2015
An accessible ramp at Senate Parks near the Senate Underground Garage. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, and represents one of the country's most comprehensive pieces of civil rights legislation as it prohibits discrimination and guarantees people with
Programs & Events

Article

By sharon.gang | July 13, 2015
Two years ago when I needed the accessibility operations provided by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) on the Capitol campus, they were there for me. Functioning escalators and elevators were invaluable to me as I recovered from knee replacement surgery. Thanks to modern science, I have a new
Behind the Scenes

Article

By sharon.gang | October 9, 2012
Although my disability from knee surgery is temporary, it has given me the opportunity to see Capitol Hill from a different perspective. Never have I appreciated the Capitol's consistently functioning escalators and elevators more than over the past month. From the elevators that take me from the
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | March 22, 2016
The beautiful buildings on the Capitol campus are full of thousands of decorative details. So many details in fact, that visitors and workers alike will often see something new each time they are here. This richness and depth inspire me every day. I've always wanted to be an architect. So naturally
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | November 16, 2018
While I often use this space to write about some of my favorite architectural features found on Capitol Hill, I want to use this Architect's Notebook to write about my favorite and most important part of this organization: AOC employees! More specifically, their spirit and their giving and generous
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | June 12, 2018
It is human nature to try to find order and balance in our surroundings. One of the ways I do this in my own life is to be as organized as possible. My desk is proof of this as it is always arranged neatly with nothing out of place. This gives me a sense of ease so I can focus on other tasks at hand
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | March 13, 2018
Even after working with this agency for more than 20 years, I continue to discover little surprises in the buildings, grounds and art cared for by our employees. I was recently walking in National Statuary Hall's upper gallery and stopped at the "Car of History" clock by Carlo Franzoni where I saw a
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | October 11, 2017
Many of our monumental buildings on Capitol Hill were designed and constructed using classical orders of architecture. When designing and constructing the U.S. Capitol Visitor Center (CVC), we were challenged to design and construct a building using modern materials and technology that is a
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | July 12, 2017
Walking through the Capitol campus, I frequently come across ornamentation in our buildings made from various metals. I was recently taking in the splendor of the gilded Torch of Knowledge above the Thomas Jefferson Building when my mind began wandering through the many additional decorative
From the Architect

Article

By stephen.t.ayers | December 5, 2016
I long for the days when we can experience all of the magnificent national treasures on Capitol Hill as they were originally imagined. The entry sequence and progression through spaces are carefully thought out by architects as buildings are designed. These experiences are very powerful and