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Architect of the Capitol
Logo of the Architect of the Capitol
Agency overview
Formed 1793
Jurisdiction United States Capitol Complex
Headquarters U.S. Capitol Building
Washington, DC 20515
Agency executive Stephen T. Ayers, Director

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the federal agency responsible for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex, and also the head of that agency. The Architect of the Capitol is in the legislative branch and is responsible to the United States Congress.

The current acting Architect of the Capitol is Stephen T. Ayers.[1]



The Architect of the Capitol sits on the Capitol Police Board, which has jurisdiction over the United States Capitol Police, and on the United States Capitol Guide Board, which has jurisdiction over the United States Capitol Guide Service.

Until 1989, the position of Architect of the Capitol was filled by appointment from the President of the United States for an indefinite term. Legislation enacted in 1989 provides that the Architect is to be appointed for a term of ten years by the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, from a list of three candidates recommended by a congressional commission. Upon confirmation by the Senate, the Architect becomes an official of the legislative branch as an officer and agent of Congress; he is eligible for reappointment after completion of his term.


Western front of the U.S. Capitol

The Office of the Architect of the Capitol is responsible to the United States Congress for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of 16.5 million square feet of buildings and more than 450 acres of land throughout the Capitol Complex. The Architect’s is also responsible for the upkeep and improvement of the Capitol grounds, and the arrangement of inaugural ceremonies and other ceremonies held in the building or on the grounds. Legislation has been enacted over the years to place additional buildings and grounds under the jurisdiction of the Architect of the Capitol.

The Capitol Complex includes the Capitol, the Capitol Visitor Center, the seven congressional office buildings (Cannon, Ford, Longworth, Rayburn for the House of Representatives, and Russell, Dirksen, and Hart for the Senate), the Library of Congress buildings, the United States Supreme Court Building, the United States Botanic Garden, the Thurgood Marshall Federal Judiciary Building, the Capitol Power Plant, the House and Senate page dormitories, the United States Capitol Police headquarters and K9 division facilities, and other facilities.

Architects of the Capitol

Architect of the Capitol Term of Office Deputy Architect Assistant Architect Appointing President Notes
William Thornton 1793
Washington Washington selected Thornton's original design for the Capitol.
Benjamin Henry Latrobe March 6, 1803 –
July 1, 1811

April 6, 1815 –
November 20, 1817



Latrobe was appointed twice. President Jefferson appointed him to take over work on the building in 1803 and construction was halted in 1811. During the War of 1812, the Capitol was burned by British troops, prompting President Madison to reappoint Latrobe as Architect of the Capitol and conduct repairs.
Charles Bulfinch January 8, 1818 –
June 25, 1829
Thomas U. Walter
Montgomery C. Meigs)
June 11, 1851 –
May 26, 1865
Edward Clark Fillmore Walter and Meigs shared responsibility for the Capitol and the construction of its additions.
Edward Clark August 30, 1865 –
January 6, 1902
Elliott Woods A. Johnson
Elliott Woods February 19, 1902 –
May 22, 1923
T. Roosevelt
David Lynn August 22, 1923 –
September 30, 1954
  • Horace Rouzer (1930-1946)
  • Arthur Cook (1946-1959)
J. George Stewart October 1, 1954 –
May 24, 1970
  • Arthur Cook (1946-1959)
  • Mario Campioli, FAIA (1959-1980)
George M. White, FAIA January 27, 1971 –
November 21, 1995
Nixon Ensign acted as Architect after White's retirement until a replacement was appointed
Alan M. Hantman, FAIA January 6, 1997 –
February 2, 2007
Stephen T. Ayers, AIA
  • (Deputy: October 2005-February 2007)
  • (Acting Architect: February 2, 2007-present)
Michael G. Turnbull, FAIA

(June 1998-present)

Clinton Hantman was the first Architect of the Capitol appointed under the legislation passed in 1989 providing for a fixed, renewable ten-year term for the Architects of the Capitol. On August 1, 2006, Hantman announced he would not seek a second term when his term expired in 2007.

See also


External links



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