The need to restore the Colorado capitol dome became apparent back in 2006 when a piece of cast iron fell onto the public observation deck as the result of more than 100 years of water infiltration and decay. It took until 2010 to develop a funding mechanism, and actual construction didn't begin until 2012 following an intense forensic analysis of the structure. The project’s goal is to repair damage and restore the exterior painted circular tower above the roof of the capitol, and re-gild the famous gold dome atop the century-old historic landmark. Despite appearances, the architectural structure and exterior detail was originally manufactured out of cast iron – not out of stone as many believed. For a detailed fact sheet on the project, click here.
As the project neared completion, visitors noticed that the dome and tower structure's color differed slightly from what they remembered prior to the project's start. The blue-gray color represents the historically accurate color from over a century ago. A team of dedicated scientific, historic preservation and architectural experts determined the historically correct color and sheen for the new finish. For a detailed fact sheet on the dome's color, click here.
Gold for this restoration was donated by AngloGold Ashanti's Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company from the same Teller County, Colorado source that produced the first gold to adorn the capitol dome. It took approximately 65 ounces of .9999 pure gold to complete this project. At the time of donation, the estimated value of the gold, refining and transportation was $125,000. For a fact sheet about the gold leaf that was used to re-gild the dome, click here.
Funding for the restoration came by way of a package of bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly in 2010.
The anticipated cost of the dome restoration project was about $17 million. Most of the cost (nearly two-thirds) was paid by the History Colorado State Historical Fund, which generates money from limited gaming like blackjack and poker (in which bets are limited to $100). The State paid for about one-third of the project cost from taxpayer dollars. Some money was also raised from private donations through the Share in the Care campaign. The package of bills passed by the Colorado General Assembly to fund the project include SB11-155, SB11-209 (page 461), HB12-1335 (page 245) and SB13-230 (page 249).