Downtown Reinvestment: Colorado State Capitol

If you’ve been around the Colorado State Capitol lately, you probably noticed the dome has been completely covered up and has been that way for many months now. So what exactly is going on under that white scrim?

In a quick summary, the dome is going under a serious renovation including the gold that covers the dome. A few months ago there was a big milestone in the project: AngloGold Ashanti and Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company donated the gold for the dome which is valued around $120,000. This is the same company that donated gold for the dome over 100 years ago when the State Capitol Building was originally built! Here is the process for the gold restoration:

via Share in the Care Colorado

Sixty-five ounces of the pure metal will be sent to Florence, Italy, where it will be rolled into 1/8,000 millimeter tissue-thin sheets of gold leaf that are 3 1/8” square. The leaf will then be applied to a copper base plate and ultimately to the dome structure. Project managers estimate it will require approximately 140,000 sheets of the leaf to gild the dome, applied at a rate of 50 to 100 square feet per day when this phase of the project starts in the summer 2013. The unused portion of the donated gold will remain with the State for use on the dome at a later date should the gold leaf require future replacement or repair.

Here are some current pictures of the capitol dome all wrapped up.

 

 

Here is the dome right before they wrapped it all up! If you look closely you can see it was starting to tarnish and restoration work was beginning to be needed.

The Colorado State Capitol will be gold and beautiful again, I promise. We just have to wait until late 2014 to see the finished product. It has been over 100 years since Denver has seen a brand new gold dome shining bright in Capitol Hill so imagine what a spectacular sight this will be!

By | 2016-12-27T22:21:56+00:00 July 28, 2013|Categories: Historic Preservation, Revitalization|Tags: |1 Comment

One Comment

  1. S Nowlan July 28, 2013 at 3:19 pm

    I seem to remember that the dome was re-gilded (new gold leaf applied) some time in the late 1970s or early 1980s. They made a big deal about that during elementary school tours I took as a kid.

    You are correct, however, that this is the the first FULL restoration (rather than mere re-gilding) in a long time – if not since the dome was first built.

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