West Virginia Capitol dome to soon shine once again
CHARLESTON, WV – It’s been a year and a half since the construction of scaffold and a weather protection covering was put into place on and around the historic Capitol dome. Now both are coming down in a major milestone of a repair and restoration project that began nearly three years ago.
The $15 million project to mitigate water and other issues was a massive undertaking necessary to preserve the 88-year-old building and keep visitors and employees alike safe.
“It’s truly exciting that we’ll see our beautiful Capitol dome highlighting the Charleston skyline once again,” Gov. Justice said. “The gold dome is absolutely one of the signature images of West Virginia and it carries so much history it’s unbelievable.”
Weather permitting, removal of the dome covering will be completed in the coming weeks. Removal of the exterior scaffolding will begin after the covering is fully removed.
As part of the project, and with oversight from the State’s Historic Preservation Office, the dome has undergone major repairs both inside and out. Other improvements include the replacement of drainage pipes, updating the gutter system, and installing a secondary lining system. The cornice limestone blocks at the base of the dome were removed, repaired and/or cleaned, and set back into their original place, and the dome itself received new paint and 23.5-karat gold leaf gilding to repair damaged areas.
As the project moves into its final phase, the exterior scaffold will continue to come down and finishing touches will be ongoing inside. Work on the interior included new CMU installation as well as the restructuring and reinforcement of the dome’s existing support system, and, while the work was significantly more than just cosmetic, perhaps most notable to visitors of the rotunda will be new plaster and paint on the walls, as well as the landmark chandelier, which was removed and cleaned.
“I thank everyone who has worked hard on this project for so long to make this a reality,” Gov. Justice said. “Between our contractors and all the hardworking West Virginians who have been involved, it has truly taken a team effort to complete this historic project. I know that all West Virginians are very excited to see the results.”
By late spring 2021, work on both the exterior and interior of the Capitol will be complete, and the building will revert back to its original, construction-free zone and the project will be one for the history books.