Architect of the Capitol

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Architect of the Capitol
Agency overview
Formed1793; 231 years ago (1793)
JurisdictionUnited States Capitol Complex
Annual budget$788 million (2022)
Agency executives
  • Architect of the Capitol
  • Chere Rexroat (Acting)

The Architect of the Capitol (AOC) is the federal agency responsible for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of the United States Capitol Complex. It is an agency of the legislative branch of the federal government[1] and is accountable to the United States Congress and the Supreme Court.[2] Both the agency and the head of the agency are called "Architect of the Capitol". The head of the agency is appointed to a 10-year term by the president of the United States, confirmed by the United States Senate,[3] and is accountable to the president.[4]


The agency had 2,444 employees and an annual budget of approximately $788 million as of September 2022.[5]

The head of the agency 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 architect of the Capitol was appointed by the president of the United States for an indefinite term. Legislation in 1989 provides that the president appoints the architect for a term of ten years, with the advice and consent of the Senate, from a list of three candidates recommended by a congressional commission composed of the speaker of the House, president pro tem of the Senate, the majority and minority leaders of the House and Senate, and the chair and ranking members of the House Committee on House Administration, the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, and the House and Senate Committees on Appropriations.[6] On confirmation by the Senate, the architect becomes an official of the legislative branch as an officer and agent of Congress.[citation needed] The architect is eligible for reappointment after completion of the term.


Western front of the U.S. Capitol

The Architect of the Capitol is responsible to Congress and the Supreme Court for the maintenance, operation, development, and preservation of 17.4 million square feet (1,620,000 m2; 400 acres; 162 ha) of buildings and more than 553 acres (224 ha) of land throughout Capitol Hill.[2]

The office 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 over the years has placed additional buildings and grounds under the Architect of the Capitol.[citation needed]

Capitol Complex (in foreground) looking toward the National Mall (2007).

The Capitol Complex includes:[2]

Architects of the Capitol[edit]

No. Image Architect of the Capitol Term of office Deputy Architect Assistant Architect Appointed by Notes
1 William Thornton 1793–1802
Washington Honored as the "first architect" for his design of the U.S. Capitol.
2 Benjamin Henry Latrobe March 6, 1803 –
July 1, 1811
Jefferson Latrobe was appointed twice. President Jefferson appointed him to take over work on the building in 1803, and construction halted in 1811. During the War of 1812, British troops burned the Capitol, prompting President Madison to reappoint Latrobe as Architect of the Capitol to conduct repairs.
April 6, 1815 –
November 20, 1817
3 Charles Bulfinch January 8, 1818 –
June 25, 1829
4 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.
5 Edward Clark August 30, 1865 –
January 6, 1902
Elliott Woods
A. Johnson
6 Elliott Woods February 19, 1902 –
May 22, 1923
T. Roosevelt
7 David Lynn August 22, 1923 –
September 30, 1954
Horace Rouzer
Arthur Cook
8 J. George Stewart October 1, 1954 –
May 24, 1970
Arthur Cook
Mario Campioli
9 George M. White January 27, 1971 –
November 21, 1995
Mario Campioli
William L. Ensign
Nixon Ensign acted as Architect after White's retirement until a replacement was appointed
10 Alan M. Hantman January 6, 1997 –
February 2, 2007
Richard A. McSeveney

(Deputy: August 2003 - October 2005) Stephen T. Ayers
(Deputy: October 2005 – February 2007)
(Acting architect: February 2, 2007 – May 11, 2010)

Michael G. Turnbull
(June 1998 – August 2021)
Clinton 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.
11 Stephen T. Ayers May 12, 2010 – November 23, 2018 Christine A. Merdon
(Deputy: 2011 – November 23, 2018)
(Acting architect: November 24, 2018 – 2020)
Obama Ayers was appointed acting architect of the Capitol from February 2007 – May 2010, and unanimously confirmed as Architect of the Capitol May 12, 2010.
12 Brett Blanton January 16, 2020 – February 13, 2023 Trump Terminated by President Joe Biden following an inspector general's report found that he engaged in "administrative, ethical and policy violations"[4]
~ Chere Rexroat February 13, 2023 - present (acting)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Overview of Doing Business with AOC". Retrieved April 4, 2014.
  2. ^ a b c "Responsibilities of the Architect | Architect of the Capitol". Retrieved February 12, 2013.
  3. ^ "2 U.S. Code § 1801 - Appointment". LII / Legal Information Institute. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  4. ^ a b "Biden dismisses scandal-plagued Capitol manager". POLITICO. February 13, 2023. Retrieved February 13, 2023.
  5. ^ Architect of the Capitol. Performance and Accountability Report for Fiscal Year 2022, Nov. 2022. Performance and accountability reports are at
  6. ^ Brudnick, Ida (March 30, 2023). "Architect of the Capitol: Evolution and Implementation of the Appointment Procedure" (PDF). Congressional Research Service. Archived from the original on May 11, 2023. Retrieved May 11, 2023.

External links[edit]