BAC Journal > Rebuilding the Nation’s Capital with BAC Skilled Diverse Workforce

Rebuilding the Nation’s Capital with BAC Skilled Diverse Workforce

2018 Issue 2
Members at Work

BAC Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/DC



Completed in 1908, the Cannon House Office Building, often called “the Old House Office Building,” is one of the three office buildings to the South of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C. This oldest Congressional office building serves 140 House members and has not been completely revitalized since the 1930s. The stone exterior, after more than a century of use, requires extensive rehabilitation as does the interior marble, plaster, and mechanical features and infrastructure. Plagued with serious safety, health, environmental and operational issues, the 110-year old building is in urgent need of a complete renewal.


The Cannon Renewal Project, with an overall budget of $758 million, began in 2014 and is scheduled to take approximately 10 years over five distinct phases to completely revitalize this historic building and provide a safe and effective work environment for House members. The initial phase, began in December 2014, focused on building utilities and infrastructure to minimize shutdowns and disturbances during the renovation. Each of the following four phases will renew a quarter of the Cannon Building, one side at a time, starting with the west wing in January 2017, followed by the north wing, east wing and concluding with the south wing. As part of the renewal project, an entirely new fifth floor will be constructed during each successive phase.


Fifty-five stone masons, PCC craftworkers, and finishers of BAC Local 1 Maryland/Virginia/DC are working on Phase 1 of the project for BAC contractor Lorton Stone (Springfield, VA) to restore the building’s exterior stone, interior marble and flooring, totaling 826,000 square feet of space. They are also adding 10 new restrooms with new stone and marble. Since January 2017, over 45,000 work hours have been generated and at least 120,000 more hours will be added for Local 1 MD/VA/DC craftworkers throughout the project. When completed in 2024, the renovated building will provide an effective workplace for the next century to serve the needs of the U.S. House of Representatives and support Congressional operations.


On June 11th, the BAC Executive Board members and Local 1 MD/VA/DC officers paid a visit to the members working on the project. Scott Garvin, President of BAC Local 1 MD/VA/DC said, “We have an international work force in Washington, D.C. working together to restore the fiber of the nation’s capital. Our skilled craftworkers on this job represent the diversity of our membership – many are immigrants from South American countries, and many are women. They reflect the diversity of our country. We can and we must work together to rebuild our nation, which like our union, was founded and built by immigrants.” 


Along with the Cannon House Office Building, the craftsmen and women of BAC Local 1 MD/VA/DC are busy restoring the Russell Senate Office Building, the Lincoln Memorial, and many other historical landmarks in the nation’s capital. These carefully executed projects bring not only new life to these historic structures, but also serve as a reminder of the central role that skilled labor plays in both maintaining our nation’s past while providing a dignified career for future generations of craftworkers.