The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) works behind the scenes to ensure that everything is impeccable for this important event — even the smallest details, like monitoring the temperature to ensure it's comfortable for the hundreds of members, staff and visitors who fill the House Chamber.
Some of our roles are visible the evening of the State of the Union Address. Our visitor assistants direct visitors and guests to the correct locations, and at times, provide interpretive tours of the Rotunda and Statuary Hall, historic spaces visitors walk through on their way to the House Chamber.
Leading up to the event, AOC employees ready the House Chamber where the president's address occurs. This responsibility includes cleaning, maintaining the infrastructure to the sound system, preparing the lighting and monitoring the electronic temperature system. All of these behind-the-scenes tasks ensure the event occurs without a hitch.
These types of high-profile events require the cooperation of hundreds of employees, representing many different organizations. Since the State of the Union Address qualifies as a National Special Security Event (defined as the formalization of the security responsibilities of numerous federal agencies charged with the development of plans for a major event), the Capitol Police Board members, including the Architect of the Capitol, coordinate with other law enforcement agencies in order to best support and protect everyone attending the event. It's a huge task, but one that we at the AOC take great pride in supporting.