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Architect of the Capitol

U.S. Capitol Building, Washington, DC 20515


Deputy Architect of the Capitol / Chief Operating Officer Christine A. Merdon

Assistant Architect of the Capitol Michael G. Turnbull
Chief Administrative Officer Amy Johnson
Chief Financial Officer Thomas Carroll
General Counsel Jason Baltimore
Inspector General Christopher Failla

Chief Executive Officer for Visitor Services, U.S. Capitol Visitor Center Beth Plemmons

Director, Communications and Congressional Relations Mary Anne Bittner
Director, Planning and Project Management Peter W. Mueller
Director, Safety, Fire and Environmental Programs Patricia Williams
Director, Security Programs Kenneth A. Eads
Director, Utilities and Power Plant Operations Christopher Potter

Executive Director, U.S. Botanic Garden Susan K. Pell, Acting

Facility Manager, Supreme Court Building and Grounds Joseph A. Campbell

Superintendent, Capitol Building Mark Reed
Superintendent, Capitol Grounds Theodore R. Bechtol, Jr.
Superintendent, House Office Buildings William M. Weidemeyer
Superintendent, Library Buildings and Grounds Larry D. Brown
Superintendent, Senate Office Buildings Takis Tzamaras

The above list of key personnel was updated 09–2017.

The above list of key personnel was updated 09–2017.

The Architect of the Capitol maintains the U.S. Capitol and the buildings and grounds of the Capitol campus.

Permanent authority for the care and maintenance of the U.S. Capitol was established by the act of August 15, 1876 (40 U.S.C. 162, 163). The title Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the official title of both the agency and the person.

Historically, the President appointed the Architect of the Capitol for an indefinite term. Legislation enacted in 1989, however, provides that the President, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appoints the Architect for a 10-year term from a list of three candidates whom a congressional commission recommends. Upon confirmation by the Senate, the Architect becomes an official of the legislative branch as an officer of Congress. The Architect is eligible for reappointment at the end of his or her 10-year term. While overseeing the agency, the Architect also serves as the Acting Director of the U.S. Botanic Garden.

The Architect of the Capitol serves the Congress and Supreme Court in its capacity as the builder and steward of the landmark buildings and grounds of Capitol Hill. AOC staff preserves and maintains the art, historic buildings, monuments, and inspirational gardens on the Capitol campus. The AOC team, comprising more than 2,000 employees and providing around-the-clock service, creates a safe environment and inspiring experiences for those who visit and work on Capitol Hill.

The AOC traces its beginnings to the laying of the Capitol cornerstone in 1793. The agency oversees the operations and care of more than 17.4 million square feet of facilities, 580 acres of grounds, and thousands of works of art. The Capitol campus accommodates 30,000 daily occupants and hosts more than 3 million visitors annually.

Sources of Information


A trove of information on columns, materials, styles, and more is available on the AOC website.


The AOC website includes pages on AOC art stories, artists, art by State, decorative arts, paintings and murals, and sculptures, as well as on African Americans, Native Americans, and women in art.


AOC experts write on the architecture, art, and work on the Capitol Hill.

Business Opportunities

Information for contractors and small businesses—delivery instructions, procedures, procurement opportunities, and programs—is accessible online.

Career Opportunities

The AOC relies heavily on architects, carpenters, electricians, engineers, gardeners, masons, mechanics, painters and plasterers, plumbers, and sheet metal workers to maintain the U.S. Capitol and the buildings and grounds of the surrounding campus.

In 2016, The AOC ranked 11th among 27 midsize Government agencies in the Best Places To Work Agency Rankings.


The AOC website contains pages of events associated with the U.S. Capitol and Botanic Garden. Events include Christmas tree displays, concerts, lying in state, Presidential Inaugurations, and State of the Union addresses.


Capitol Hill facts are posted on the AOC website.


A multimedia gallery is available online.


Frederick L. Olmsted planned the late 19th-century expansion and landscaping of the Capitol Grounds. Olmsted, who also designed Central Park in New York City, was regarded as the most talented American landscape architect of his day. The "About the Grounds" web page features an informative 4-minute video on his plan for the U.S. Capitol.


President George Washington appointed commissioners to provide buildings and accommodations for Congress. The commissioners hired the French artist and engineer Major Pierre Charles L'Enfant, a Revolutionary War veteran, to lay out the new city. They also staged a competition for the design of the Capitol. Dr. William Thornton's entry won the competition. To learn more about the first "architect of the capitol" and the Architects that followed, visit the AOC's history web pages.


A map of Capitol Hill is available online.


The AOC posts news and notices on its website.

Organizational Directory

An organizational directory is available online.


The Office of the Inspector General from the AOC posts reports and data on, a text-searchable repository of reports that Federal Inspectors General publish. The Council of the Inspectors General on Integrity and Efficiency operates and maintains the website to increase public access to independent and authoritative information on the Federal Government.

Planning a Visit

Information on accessibility services, activities, tours, visiting hours, and where to shop and eat is available online.


The AOC never lacks things to preserve or restore. Visit the "Projects" web page to learn about ongoing work.


The AOC publishes a variety of publications that are accessible online.

Site Map

The website map allows visitors to look for specific topics or to browse content that aligns with their interests.

Social Media

The AOC tweets announcements and other newsworthy items on Twitter.

The AOC has a Facebook account.

The AOC posts videos on its YouTube channel.


Approximately 890 trees surround the Capitol Building on Capitol Square, and more than 4,300 trees grow throughout the 274-acre Capitol Grounds. A tree map is available on the "Trees on Capitol Grounds" web page.

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