Architect of the Capitol


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] The head of the agency is also called "Architect of the Capitol".

Architect of the Capitol
Logo of the United States Architect of the Capitol.svg
Agency overview
Formed1793; 229 years ago (1793)
JurisdictionUnited States Capitol Complex
Agency executive

President Trump nominated Brett Blanton as Architect of the Capitol on December 9, 2019. On December 19, 2019, the United States Senate confirmed his nomination by voice vote.[3] He was sworn in on January 16, 2020.[4] Blanton replaced acting Architect of the Capitol Thomas J. Carroll, who replaced former acting Architect of the Capitol Christine A. Merdon. Prior to that, Stephen T. Ayers served as acting Architect of the Capitol from February 2007, and was unanimously confirmed by the Senate on May 12, 2010, becoming the 11th Architect of the Capitol.[5] He retired on November 23, 2018.[6] On November 1, 2022 Politico reported that the OIG had investigated and concluded that Blanton and his family had misused government resources.[7]The OIG report confirms this report.[8]


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. 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 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.

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

The Capitol Complex includes:[2]

Architects of the CapitolEdit

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
Stephen T. Ayers
(Deputy: October 2005 – February 2007)
(Acting architect: February 2, 2007 – May 11, 2010)
Michael G. Turnbull
(June 1998 – present)
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 Trump

See alsoEdit


  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. ^ "PN1324 - Nomination of J. Brett Blanton for Congress of the United States, 116th Congress (2019-2020)". December 19, 2019. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  4. ^ "12th Architect of the Capitol Sworn In". Retrieved January 31, 2020.
  5. ^ "Stephen T. Ayers Confirmed by United States Senate to Serve as 11th Architect of the Capitol". Archived from the original on March 15, 2012. Retrieved August 5, 2013.
  6. ^ "Stephen T. Ayers". Archived from the original on May 11, 2020. Retrieved February 8, 2019.
  7. ^ Wu, Nicholas; Tully-McManus, Katherine. "An internal watchdog report found that the Architect of the Capitol misused government vehicles and passed himself off as a law enforcement officer".
  8. ^ J. Brett Blanton, Architect of the Capitol, Abused His Authority, Misused Government Property and Wasted Taxpayer Money, Among Other Substantiated Violations

External linksEdit