$10 million repair project starting on Iowa Capitol's crumbling golden dome
A $10 million repair project has begun on the Iowa Capitol's golden dome, one of the most iconic landmarks in Des Moines.
Construction crews have started preliminary work in recent days on the restoration project, which isn't scheduled to be completed until the fall of 2018. Scaffolding will be installed to allow repairs on the exterior of the structure, and tours inside the dome will be halted until restoration is finished inside the building, said Mark Willemssen, an Iowa Legislature facilities manager.
A large crane has been set up on west side of the Capitol and chain link fencing has been installed in some areas. The project was authorized by the Legislature last year, but the start of work was delayed until this spring to allow time for architects to prepare detailed drawings and specifications.The contractor is Neumann Brothers of Des Moines.
The dome suffers from failing joints and cracks in the mortar, which are compounded by moisture problems from water leaking from outside and from humidity from large crowds inside, Willemssen said. Extensive tuck-pointing is needed, although the dome will not need to be re-gilded with gold leaf.