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U.S. Capitol

The history of the United States Capitol Building begins in 1793. Since then, the U.S. Capitol has been built, burnt, rebuilt, extended and restored. The Capitol that we see today is the result of several major periods of construction; it stands as a monument to the ingenuity, determination and skill of the American people.
East Front November 2013
399 Media in collectionpage 1 of 4

1861 Abraham Lincoln's First Inauguration

The first inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln at the U.S. Capitol, as the Capitol Dome is under construction. March 4, 1861...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for ... more

1863 Drawing of Scaffold for Statue of Freedom

Original Architect of the Capitol, Thomas U. Walter, scaffolding plan for raising Statue of Freedom to top of dome from May 8, 1863...More about the Statue of Freedom: www.aoc.gov/capitol-hill/other-statues/sta... more

1865 Abraham Lincoln's Second Inauguration

Abraham Lincoln delivers his second Inaugural address on March 4, 1865...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (no... more

1869 Inauguration of Ulysses S. Grant

March 4, 1869 on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or an... more

1874 Plan for the U.S. Capitol Grounds by Frederick Law Olmsted

This drawing, which is oriented with east at the top, shows the arrangement of drives, paths, trees, fountains, and terraces that Olmsted created at the Capitol beginning in 1874. The outline of the Capitol inc... more

1881 President James A. Garfield Inauguration

President James A. Garfield takes the Oath of Office during his Inauguration ceremony on March 4, 1881...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarl... more

1901 Inauguration of President McKinley

Inauguration ceremony for President William McKinley on March 4, 1901...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not... more

1905 Inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt

The Inauguration of Theodore Roosevelt on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol. March 4, 1905...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or person... more

1909 William Taft Inauguration

Inauguration of William H. Taft on the Capitol's East Front in March 1909. ..-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes... more

1917 Woodrow Wilson Inauguration Ceremony

Inauguration for President Woodrow Wilson on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol, March 5, 1917....This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or pe... more

1921 Inauguration of President Warren G. Harding

Chief Justice Edward White gives the Oath of Office to Warren Harding on March 4, 1921 on the East Front of the U.S. Capitol Building ( http://www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/index.cfm ) ...-----.This official Architect... more

1931: The cornerstone laid for the Botanic Garden.

After years of debate, it was decided to move the Botanic Garden to its present site on Maryland Avenue. At the cornerstone laying, Senator Simeon C. Fess, Chairman of the Joint Committee on the Library, holds ... more

1933 Franklin D. Roosevelt's First Inauguration

This inauguration ceremony for Franklin D. Roosevelt on March 4, 1933, was the last ceremony to be held in March. All subsequent inaugurals have been held in January...-----.This official Architect of the Capit... more

1961 John F. Kennedy Inauguration

Inauguration ceremony for President John F. Kennedy on January 20, 1961...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (n... more

1964 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1964 Capitol Christmas Tree, a Douglas Fir from Birdsboro, PA, arrived at the Capitol Grounds to be planted as a permanent Christmas Tree on the West Front of the Capitol...In 1964, House Speaker John W. Mc... more

1964 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

A Douglas Fir from Birdsboro, Pennsylvania arrives on the West Front lawn of the U.S. Capitol Building...The tree was intended to be a permanent Christmas tree and was decorated and lighted each year through 19... more

1966 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1966 tree was a 24 foot Douglas Fir from Buddies Nurseries, Pennsylvania...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of the Ca... more

1972 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1972 tree was a 50 foot Balsam Fir from Cherokee National Forest, Tennessee...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of the... more

1973 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1973 tree was a 51 foot White Spruce from Allegheny National Forest, Pennsylvania...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect ... more

1975 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1975 tree was a 41 foot Balsam Fir from Ottawa National Forest, Michigan...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of the Ca... more

1976 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1976 tree was a 41 foot Red Spruce from Monongahela National Forest, West Virginia...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect... more

1981 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1981 tree was a 50 foot White Spruce from Hiawatha National Forest, Michigan...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of th... more

1984 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 1984 tree was a 58 foot White Spruce from Superior National Forest, Minnesota...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of t... more

1997: President Bill Clinton's 2nd Inauguration

-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is u... more

1997: President Bill Clinton's 2nd Inauguration

-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is u... more

2001 Fourth of July at the U.S. Capitol

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

2002 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2002 tree was a 70 foot Douglas Fir from Umpqua National Forest, Oregon...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of the Cap... more

2005 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2005 tree was a 60 foot Engelmann Spruce from Santa Fe National Forest, New Mexico...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect... more

2007 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2007 tree was a 55 foot Balsam Fir from Green Mountain National Forest, Vermont...The regular practice of displaying a Christmas tree on the Capitol Grounds is relatively recent. Records at the Architect of... more

2008 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2008 Capitol Christmas Tree was a 70 foot Subalpine Fir from Bitterroot National Forest, Montana...-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly,... more

2009 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2009 Capitol Christmas Tree was an 85 foot Blue Spruce from Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest, Arizona...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly,... more

2010 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2010 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree was a 67-foot Engelmann Spruce from Wyoming's Bridger-Teton National Forest...For more information about the Capitol Christmas Tree visit: www.aoc.gov/cc/grounds/hol_trees/i... more

2011 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2011 Capitol Christmas Tree — a 65-foot Sierra white fir — is from California’s Stanislaus National Forest. It was lit on December 6, 2011 and will be lit from night fall until 11 p.m. each evening through ... more

2012 Capitol Christmas Tree on the move.

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

2012 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

This year’s tree — a 65-foot Engelmann spruce — is from the Blanco Ranger District of the White River National Forest in Colorado...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for ... more

2013 04 08 DDR_6741

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

2016 Capitol Christmas Tree Lit

The 2016 Capitol Christmas Tree is an 80' Engelmann Spruce from the Payette National Forest in Idaho...AOC's Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds selected this Idaho gem to grace the Capitol lawn. Read the ful... more

2016 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree

The 2016 tree is an 80 foot Engelmann Spruce from Payette National Forest, Idaho...AOC's Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds selected this Idaho gem to grace the Capitol lawn. Read the full story. ( https://w... more

2017 U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree Lit

The 2017 Capitol Christmas Tree was was chosen from the Kootenai National Forest located in the northwest corner of Montana. ..This summer, AOC's Superintendent of the Capitol Grounds spent a few days submersed... more

Abraham Lincoln Statue in Rotunda - 1866

Statue of Abraham Lincoln by Harry J. Ellicott in the Capitol Rotunda in 1866. ..This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (... more

Abraham Lincoln Statue

The statue of Abraham Lincoln is located in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol building...Sculpture by Vinnie Ream ( http://www.flickr.com/photos/uscapitol/6750775303/ ) .Marble.1871.Rotunda.U.S. Capitol..For more... more

Aerial View of the Capitol

Aerial view of the Capitol's north/Senate side, looking south. House Office Buildings (Cannon, Longworth and Rayburn) and Nationals Park are visible in the distance...-----.This official Architect of the Capito... more

Alexander Hamilton Statue

This statue of Alexander Hamilton is located in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building...Statue by Horatio Stone.Marble.1868.Rotunda.U.S. Capitol ..For more information on this statue visit: www.aoc.gov/cc/ar... more

AOC clear Snow from East Front of U.S. Capitol

AOC's grounds crew gets to work clearing snow from the East Front Plaza of the U.S. Capitol to ensure the grounds are safe for staff and visitors arriving at the Capitol...This official Architect of the Capitol... more

AOC Employee teaches high school students about electrical circuits

Currently 28 AOC employees teach 15 short courses at Phelps Architecture, Construction and Engineering High School in Northeast Washington, D.C.

Apotheosis of Washington at 147 years old

Prior to the 2015-2016 Rotunda Interior Restoration..-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any... more

Apotheosis of Washington in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol

An image looking up from the statue of George Washington in the Rotunda of the U.S. Capitol Building, showing Constantino Brumidi's fresco, the Apotheosis of Washington...More details at www.aoc.gov/capitol-bui... more

April Morning on Capitol Hill

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Attic Story Level of Dome Construction

Work beginning on the attic story of the dome, preparing to install console which are seen in the foreground. Photo taken in 1861..This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for ... more

Authority Consults the Written Law

Constantino Brumidi.Fresco.c. 1875.Senate wing.U.S. Capitol..Enthroned Authority, robed in red, holds a sword and wears her attribute, a wreath of the three-pointed hastate leaf...This official Architect of the... more

Azaleas on th Capitol Grounds

The Capitol Grounds, House, and Senate Parks are a wonderful way to spend a spring day. Springtime on the historic grounds Capitol Grounds include blooming white and pink dogwoods, azaleas, Japanese Zelkova, ma... more

Baptism of Pocahontas

John Gadsby Chapman.Oil on canvas, 12' x 18'.1839; placed 1840.Rotunda.U.S. Capitol..This painting depicts the ceremony in which Pocahontas, daughter of the influential Algonkian chief Powhatan, was baptized an... more

Bartholdi Fountain at the U.S. Capitol - 1890

Women with bikes enjoy the Bartholdi Fountain in its original location northwest of the Capitol on the National Mall in 1890 with the U.S. Capitol in the background (today the fountain is located in the US Bota... more

Bartholdi Fountain

In 1877 the United States purchased Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's "Fountain of Light and Water" – commonly called the Bartholdi Fountain. Beginning in 2008, the Architect of the Capitol undertook a complete off-... more

Bartholdi Fountain

In 1877 the United States purchased Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi's "Fountain of Light and Water" – commonly called the Bartholdi Fountain. Beginning in 2008, the Architect of the Capitol undertook a complete off-... more

Bartholdi Park

From this view in Bartholdi Park you can see the Botanic Garden Conservatory, U.S. Capitol Dome, Bartholdi Fountain and the Rayburn House Office Building...The Park was created in 1932 and named for Frederic Au... more

Bartolomé de Las Casas

Constantino Brumidi.Oil on plaster.1876.Senate wing.U.S. Capitol..Brumidi showed the priest at his desk with an Indian companion, looking out a window at the native peoples whose enslavement he denounced...This... more

Bellona, Roman Goddess of War

Constantino Brumidi.Fresco.Date undocumented.Senate wing.U.S. Capitol..The Roman goddess of war stood guard over the door to the room of the Military Affairs Committee...----..This official Architect of the Cap... more

Benjamin Franklin

Constantino Brumidi.Fresco.c. 1873.Senate wing.U.S. Capitol...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or ... more

Brumidi Corridors

The vaulted, ornately decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing in the United States Capitol are called the Brumidi Corridors because, although assistants and other artists are responsible for m... more

Brumidi Corridors

The vaulted, ornately decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing in the U.S. Capitol Building are called the Brumidi Corridors in honor of Constantino Brumidi, the Italian artist who designed the... more

Brumidi Corridors

The vaulted, ornately decorated corridors on the first floor of the Senate wing in the U.S. Capitol Building are called the Brumidi Corridors in honor of Constantino Brumidi, the Italian artist who designed the... more

Bulfinch Dome

Engraving showing the first dome of the U.S. Capitol, designed by Charles Bulfinch...By William H. Bartlett, circa 1840....This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for education... more

Capitol - 1861 with Union Soldiers

Capitol in March 1861, Union Soldiers at drill on the East Front of the grounds. ...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purpos... more

Capitol - December 10, 2014

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol After Bulfinch Dome Removed 1856

CAPITOL AFTER REMOVAL OF THE OLD DOME..One of the columns of the New dome put up temporarily to ascertain the effect of the sculptural [effect] of the [corinthian] capital. Steam engine for hoisting materials [... more

Capitol after Fire of 1814

Drawing of the U.S. Capitol after the Capitol was burned by British Troops on August 24, 1814, during the War of 1812...For more information on the Fire of 1814 visit: www.aoc.gov/cc/capitol/Fire-of-1814.cfm ( ... more

Capitol at Dawn May 15, 2014

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol at Dawn May 20, 2014

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol August 29, 2014

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Building Center with Freedom and the Dome

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Building with Snow Dusting March 2013

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol c.1856

West Front of the Capitol with brackets for columns at the base of the dome in place. Property yard next to the Senate wing visible. Photo ca. 1856...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being... more

Capitol Construction Crane in Yard 1850s

Photo commissioned by Montgomery Meigs during Capitol extensions and Dome construction in the 1850s ...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news ... more

Capitol Construction January 1856

S.E VIEW OF THE CAPITOL AFTER REMOVAL OF THE OLD DOME. .One of the columns of the New dome put up temporarily to ascertain the effect of the sculptural [effect] of the [corinthian] capital. Steam engine for ho... more

Capitol Construction Yard 1857

Workshop and stone yard on northwest lawn. Photo taken September 1857..This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not adver... more

Capitol Dawn May 28, 2014

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome at Dawn. September 2013

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome at Night

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome at Twilight

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome Construction - 1857

View from the east of the construction of the U.S. Capitol Dome in 1857.....This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not a... more

Capitol Dome Construction - 1859

First row of columns of the dome erected. Cast iron brackets tying column to structure in place and will be later hidden by the entablature. Photo taken January 6, 1859...This official Architect of the Capitol... more

Capitol Dome on Blue Sky day in April

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome on fall day

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome Restoration January 2015

Work on scaffold has completed moving up the Dome and repairs have begun in enclosed areas. This repair work includes lead paint removal, application of primer coat, cast iron repairs, new castings, epoxy filli... more

Capitol Dome Restoration January 2015

Work on scaffold has completed moving up the Dome and repairs have begun in enclosed areas. This repair work includes lead paint removal, application of primer coat, cast iron repairs, new castings, epoxy filli... more

Capitol Dome Restoration January 2015

Work on scaffold has completed moving up the Dome and repairs have begun in enclosed areas. This repair work includes lead paint removal, application of primer coat, cast iron repairs, new castings, epoxy filli... more

Capitol Dome Restoration November 2014

Work on scaffold has completed moving up the Dome and repairs have begun in enclosed areas. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) ...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made a... more

Capitol Dome Restoration November 2014

Work on scaffold has completed moving up the Dome and repairs have begun in enclosed areas. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) ...This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made a... more

Capitol Dome Restoration October 9, 2014

10/9/2014..Placement of elements of scaffold that will reach, and eventually cover, the entire Capitol Dome enabling restoration work on Dome. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) . .This official ... more

Capitol Dome Restoration October 10, 2014

10/10/2014..Placement of elements of scaffold that will reach, and eventually cover, the entire Capitol Dome enabling restoration work on Dome. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) . .This official... more

Capitol Dome Restoration October 13, 2014

10/13/14..Placement of elements of scaffold that will reach, and eventually cover, the entire Capitol Dome enabling restoration work on Dome. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) . .This official A... more

Capitol Dome Restoration September 2014

9/28/14..Placement of elements of scaffold that will reach, and eventually cover, the entire Capitol Dome enabling restoration work on Dome. More www.aoc.gov/Dome ( http://www.aoc.gov/Dome ) . .This official Ar... more

Capitol Dome

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Dome

August 2010

Capitol in Spring - April 2010

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used th... more

Capitol Magnolias

First day of meteorological spring 2012. Magnolias beginning bloom at the Capitol....This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purpos... more

Capitol Model Makers 1904

This study model in plaster in a scale of 1/5 inch = 1 foot was constructed by Emile Garet (wearing hat in photo), an architect sculptor, for the Architect of the Capitol as part of a 1904 report for the extens... more

Capitol Reflecting Pool - Prior to Grant Memorial Restoration

The Capitol Reflecting Pool is located at the eastern end of the National Mall in Washington, DC. Six acres in size, it occupies over half of the area called Union Square. It is set into a plaza that includes, ... more

Capitol Rotunda Canopy

Prior to the 2015-2016 Rotunda Interior Restoration..-----.This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any... more