Architect of the Capitol

What Congress Wants to Study and ‘Explore’ About Itself
Dunkin’ Donuts, horse mounted police and leaky Cannon tunnel all will get consideration

Congress wants studies on police horses, flooding in the Cannon Tunnel, Senate child care and more. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

What to do with some basement ambience, Horse-mounted police and Dunkin’ Donuts are but a few questions appropriators want answered as they look to fund Congress and its agencies to the tune of $4.8 billion.The fiscal year 2019 appropriations conference committee report released Monday includes reporting requirements and requests for studies and explorations. Here are just a few: 

Conferees had some real talk about the tunnel that connects the Cannon House Office Building to the Capitol:“The current condition of the Cannon tunnel is that of a basement ambience,” said the report, “Furthermore the tunnel is subject to leaks which have recently caused the tunnel to be closed.”The report directs the Architect of the Capitol and the  Clerk of the House to develop a comprehensive plan to “enhance the tunnel,” including cost estimates, timeline, and renderings.

What the Recess Rollback Means for Capitol Hill (and Taxpayers)
Police overtime, food workers, Capitol improvements all affected

The Senate's shortened recess means some big changes for workers on Capitol Hill (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Senate’s truncated August recess is changing plans on Capitol Hill, but it’s not yet clear how much it will cost taxpayers.

With lawmakers back in their states, the Architect of the Capitol can typically count on a block of weeks to work on projects that might cause disruption if Congress were in session. And the summer recess is usually a prime time for staffers and Capitol Police to schedule vacations. But not this year.

Asbestos Removal Work Set to Begin in Rayburn Building
Contamination has long been an issue in building

A dictionary in the Rayburn Press Room. The room is slated to close later this year and remodeled into a congressional office. Other parts of the building will close later this week for asbestos removal. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Portions of the Rayburn House Office Building will be off-limits starting Friday as asbestos abatement work begins on three rooms on the ground floor.

Air monitoring will be conducted on a daily basis while work is underway in rooms 2070 to 2072, according to a letter posted outside the Rayburn cafeteria.

Capitol-Cannon Tunnel Floods, Surprising Very Few
Rain-caused waterfalls not a rare occurrence in aging buildings

Capitol Police officers direct traffic away from the flooded Cannon tunnel (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call).

Tuesday’s extreme weather touched down on the Hill when tourists, lawmakers, staff and press were all turned away from the tunnel connecting the Capitol to the Cannon House Office Building after water flooded the pedestrian passageway.

Capitol Police officers keeping people away from the area were not surprised.

Harriet Tubman Statue May Come to Capitol
Maryland wants to add abolitionist to the halls of Congress

Maryland Sen. Chris Van Hollen is working to place a statue of Harriet Tubman in the Capitol (Al Drago/CQ Roll Call file photo)

The state of Maryland is moving closer to having a statue of abolitionist Harriet Tubman built for display in the United States Capitol.

The state’s junior senator, Democrat Chris Van Hollen, said at a recent hearing that his staff has been working with the Architect of the Capitol to plan for the creation and donation of the sculpture.

Ducks Not Using Duck Ramp ... Yet
 

Heard on the Hill This Week: The Saga of the Student Painting Heist
 

Throughout a week filled with heated confirmation hearings and a late-night vote-a-rama, one story continuously dogged Roll Call’s Heard on the Hill reporter Alex Gangitano: some lawmakers kept taking down a controversial student painting in the Cannon tunnel. Watch the video for a play-by-play from Gangitano.

Ryan Calls Ferguson Painting ‘Disgusting’ ]

Capitol Dome Starting to Look Like Itself Again
 

After being masked by scaffolding for nearly two years, the iconic Capitol Dome is returning to its normal look (no doubt a relief to selfie-snapping tourists throughout the district). With just five months until the next president is sworn in on the West Front of the building, here's a look at where the dome restoration project stands. 

No Exposure to Asbestos From Separated Duct in Capitol Attic
Architect of the Capitol made repairs on Thursday

A separated duct in the Capitol attic caused rumors of exposure to asbestos. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Air samples were found to be well below the regulatory limit for general space occupancy after the Architect of the Capitol discovered a separated duct in the attic of the Capitol.

On Thursday, the duct was identified and AOC shut off the air and evacuated the suites in the area served by the air handler, AOC spokeswoman Erin Courtney said.