Contact: John Schneidawind
For immediate release:
Washington, D.C. – May 13, 2010 – The American Institute of Architects (AIA) applauded the confirmation late last night by the U.S. Senate of Stephen Ayers, AIA, as Architect of the Capitol. The confirmation was by unanimous consent, a compelling endorsement of Mr. Ayers’ performance since being appointed on an interim basis three years ago.
Mr. Ayers was nominated to be Architect of the Capitol by President Barack Obama in late February, after leading the office on an interim basis following the retirement of Alan Hantman, FAIA, who held the position previously.
"For the Senate to confirm Stephen Ayers so quickly and on such a bipartisan basis is itself an endorsement of the profession as well as Mr. Ayers’ steady hand as he led the Architect of the Capitol’s office for the last three years,” said American Institute of Architects president George H. Miller, FAIA.
History and Role of the Architect of the Capitol
The Architect of the Capitol is responsible for the operation and maintenance of the buildings committed to his care by Congress, which in 1876 vested the position with permanent authority for the care and maintenance of the United States Capitol. The Architect’s duties include the mechanical and structural maintenance of the building, the upkeep and improvement of the Capitol grounds – which include the Capitol, the congressional office buildings, the Library of Congress buildings, the Supreme Court building, the U.S. Botanical Garden, the Capitol Power Plant, and numerous other facilities – and the arrangement of inaugural and other ceremonies held in the building or on the grounds.
During Mr. Ayers’ tenure, he successfully managed the Office of the Architect, guiding the Office to achieve many notable milestones and achievements. These include:
• Meeting the completion cost and schedule of the Capitol Visitor Center, which
welcomed 2.3 million guests in the first year of operation;
• Successfully leading various components of the 56th Presidential Inaugural,
including the construction of the platform;
• Completing a Collective Bargaining Agreement with AFSCME Local 626, which
represents 500 employees;
• Taking a leadership role in implementing sustainable practices on Capitol Hill, including opening an ethanol (E-85) fueling station and doubling tonnage of recycled waste.
Mr. Ayers will be the keynote speaker the evening of June 9 at the AIA’s 2010 Citizen Architect Exchange, which is being held at the Miami Convention Center just prior to the opening of the AIA’s annual convention June 10-12.
About The American Institute of Architects
For over 150 years, members of the American Institute of Architects have worked with each other and their communities to create more valuable, healthy, secure, and sustainable buildings and cityscapes. By using sustainable design practices, materials, and techniques, AIA architects are uniquely poised to provide the leadership and guidance needed to provide solutions to address climate change. AIA architects walk the walk on sustainable design. Visit www.aia.org