Capitol dome to undergo $60 million restoration

The U.S. Capitol Dome is undergoing a two year long makeover.
Posted By Veronica Linares   |   Oct. 22, 2013 at 4:11 PM   |   Comments

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(UPI) -- The U.S. Capitol Dome will undergo a $60 million restoration project that will begin in November.

"From a distance the dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees," Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said in a statement. "On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome."

The makeover, which is expected to last two years, is the first one the dome receives since 1959, Ayers said.

The dome was constructed of cast iron more than 150 years ago. Water has infiltrated through pinholes in the Statue of Freedom and other cracks causing the structure underneath to rust and damaging more than 100 decorative elements. According to NPR, the dome currently has more than 1,000 cracks and deficiencies.

In 2012, the Senate agreed to appropriate $60 million for the restoration project but the House insisted that the country did not have money for a makeover. Then in March of 2013, the amount was included as part of a continuing resolution.

The Architect of the Capitol announced Tuesday that crews will soon construct a scaffold system around the Capitol Dome that will last during the entirety of the project.

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