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Painted Portrait of Benjamin Henry Latrobe
Benjamin Henry Latrobe was hired by President Jefferson in 1803 to fill the...

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The United States Capitol in 1846, with its original dome designed by Charles Bulfinch
Throughout the U.S. Capitol Building’s 220-year history, there have been many...

Olmsted Terrace Stone Preservation

To properly restore the Olmsted Terrace, a six-phased project is underway by the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) to repair the masonry at the terrace walls.

During the last 120 years, there has been little maintenance performed on the stone and conditions of the terrace have deteriorated. A recent materials condition survey found that the marble and granite is stained and damaged and requires maintenance and repairs. Repairs include deconstructing and rebuilding some of the walls, repointing, patching holes, cleaning the stone, and trimming and removing trees and bushes along the terrace walls.

Project Phases

The project will occur between April and October of each year through 2019. Work includes the assembly of scaffolding, and cranes will be present at times to remove heavy stones. During each phase, the walls, pedestal, steps and curb will be dismantled, repaired and reinstalled by AOC masons.

Graphic of all phases for this project.

Current Work: Phase 2

The masonry repairs and ornamental metal refinishing at the south approach of the Olmsted Terrace were completed December 2015, and the approach to the Capitol was opened for public use at that time. The bronze and wrought iron lamp post and rail located at the granite stairs leading to the south terrace was restored, refinished and its wiring was upgraded. Soon the adjacent landscaping will be restored and resodded. The next step in Phase 2 is to clean and repoint the remainder of the Olmsted Terrace. This work is planned for completion in summer 2016.