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It’s been a good run, Architect of the Capitol.

For the last 152 years, AOC has meant one thing in Washington: Architect of the Capitol. It’s been a good run, but these days those letters instantly bring to mind a certain new star of the Democratic Party, not a semi-obscure government office. So what’s the difference?

Architect of the Capitol

VS.

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez

Responsible for federal buildings on Capitol Hill; overhauling the Cannon House Office Building

Claim to fame

Youngest-ever female member of Congress; pushing to overhaul tax rates on highest earners
Maintaining government institutions

Mission

Challenging government conventions
The all-white domed-building look

Favored aesthetic

The all-white pantsuit look
288 feet (to the top of the Capitol dome’s Statue of Freedom)

Height

Five foot four
Criticized for a painting in the Capitol that depicted police as pigs

Controversy

Criticized for an old video clip of her doing a goofy dance

This article appears in the March 2019 issue of Washingtonian.

Assistant Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She previously was the editorial assistant at Walter Magazine in Raleigh, North Carolina, and freelanced for PoPVille and DCist. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Adams Morgan.