Under the Dome with 10th Architect of the Capitol, Alan Hantman

The domed U.S. Capitol Building is recognized worldwide as America’s most iconic symbol, the forum for representative democracy, and the physical stage for the transfer of executive power.

Watch our latest webinar featuring Alan Hantman, the 10th Architect of the Capitol from 1997 to 2007, to discuss his upcoming book, “Under the Dome: Politics, Crisis, and Architecture at the United States Capitol.” Together, we explored how the Capitol building underwent numerous renovations and expansions under Hantman’s guidance as the Architect of the Capitol, the official entrusted with preserving and enhancing this historic landmark and the surrounding grounds of Capitol Hill.

Hantman offered a personal account of the Capitol’s physical space, the individuals involved in its management, and how politicians perceive the Capitol Building. We heard firsthand about the decision-making process behind Capitol security, including how he handled security threats such as the 1998 shooting of two police officers and the Capitol evacuation on 9/11.


Portrait of Alan M. Hantman, FAIA, Tenth Architect of the Capitol.Alan M. Hantman, FAIA, was appointed Architect of the Capitol for a 10-year term in 1997 and was the first Architect of the Capitol to undergo confirmation according to new procedures established by legislation in 1989.

As Architect of the Capitol, Hantman created detailed valuations and master plans for each of the nine jurisdictions under the responsibility of the Architect of the Capitol, providing an overall road map for phased renovations and growth, including plans for the restoration of the U.S. Capitol’s cast-iron Dome.

Hantman oversaw the detailed design and construction of the 580,000 square foot Capitol Visitor Center that increased the size of the U.S. Capitol by 70 percent. During his tenure, Hantman also oversaw the complete reconstruction and expansion of the U.S. Botanic Garden Conservatory, the Capitol Power Plant, and the design and construction of the National Garden.

Under Mr. Hantman, a renovation and upgrade of the historic Supreme Court Building and an underground addition were initiated. Projects for the Library of Congress (LOC) included the Packard Campus for Audio Visual Conservation in Culpeper, Virginia; the Dense Book Depository at Fort Meade, Maryland; and renovations in the LOC buildings in Washington, D.C.

Hantman’s tenure was also marked by significant improvements to life safety and security measures across the Capitol campus.

Born in New York City on October 13, 1942, Hantman earned degrees in architecture and city planning from the City College and the City University of New York. Prior to his appointment he served as Vice President of Planning, Architecture, Historic Preservation and Construction at Rockefeller Center Management Corporation of New York City for 10 years. He previously worked as a development consultant, assistant chief architect and project manager at major architectural firms.

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