US Capitol dome to be restored to original glory

Over 150-year-old historic US Capitol dome is all set to undergo a restoration worth USD 60 million, as the architectural icon has developed cracks owing to age and weather conditions.

PTI| Updated: Oct 23, 2013, 11:58 AM IST

Washington: Over 150-year-old historic US Capitol dome is all set to undergo a restoration worth USD 60 million, as the architectural icon has developed cracks owing to age and weather conditions.

The Dome, a veritable symbol of American democracy and an architectural landmark, has not undergone a complete restoration since 1959-1960 and due to age and weather is now plagued by more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies.

This fall the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) will begin a multi-year project to repair these deficiencies, restoring the Dome to its original, inspiring splendour and ensuring it can safely serve future generations of visitors and employees as the roof of the Capitol, an official release said.

"From a distance the Dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees.

On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome, Architect of the Capitol, Stephen T Ayers said.

It was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago.

"As stewards of the Capitol for the Congress and the American people, we must conduct this critical work to save the Dome," said Ayers.

"From a distance the Dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees", he said.

The project will begin this November, with the majority of work conducted at night and on weekends to ensure minimal disruption to Congressional business, events and public tours.

"For the next two years, the Capitol Dome may not look great aesthetically but please know that when the scaffold is removed, the dome will be even more splendid than before, and we can all be proud of the work that was performed to ensure that it will stand for generations to come," said Ayers in a blog post.