Gilders rappel from Capitol dome, put final touches on restoration project

On Aug. 13, 2014, expert gilders rappelled from the lantern atop the Colorado State Capitol to complete a final touch up on the iconic gold-leafed dome. Contractors were completing the final touches of the nearly three year long dome restoration project. 

The top of the dome is 270 feet high (approximately 25 stories). A certified technician rappelled by rope from the lantern windows to predetermined locations. While the scaffolding was being disassembled, State staff and contractors identified specific locations where the gold leaf required touch up from things like scaffolding contact while it was in place. “As with any construction project, we have a final punch list of items that need to be addressed before the work is accepted and the project is closed out,” said State Architect Larry Friedberg.

Final touch ups like the gilding, as well as paint touch up, caulking, cleaning and other routine finish work must be completed to the State’s satisfaction before it will accept the job.  It is estimated that the gold leaf touch up will take approximately one week.

“It is pretty dramatic to watch someone rappel down from the top of the dome,” said Kathy Nesbitt, Executive Director of the Department of Personnel & Administration (DPA).  “We are very proud of the attention being paid to these little details, and as a result, we expect this restoration to last a long time.”

DPA and a project team from the Colorado General Assembly, History Colorado and other State and private partners also announced today that the official re-opening and dedication of the dome will be Thursday, Oct. 2, 2014.  More details about the event will be announced in weeks to come. It has been roughly eight years since the dome’s outdoor observation deck was closed for safety reasons. 

One of the gilder’s helmets was equipped with a Go-Pro camera to capture video footage of the touch up process and the view from the exterior of the dome. The footage will be made available to media and on a newly-launched website dedicated entirely to the Colorado State Capitol at www.colorado.gov/capitol. The new website serves as a central location for information about all of the State Capitol projects, tours, history, event permits and more.

The Colorado Department of Personnel & Administration’s mission is to provide quality services to enhance state government success. DPA oversees the Office of the State Architect and the Division of Central Services. Both agencies are responsible for managing the dome restoration project.

 

For more information, contact:
Doug Platt, Communications Manager
O: 303-866-6095  |  C: 303-503-9939

 

See news coverage on the dome by clicking the links below:

Denver Post - http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_26328591/workers-rappel-state-capitol-dome-denver-restoration-winds

Ch. 9 -- http://www.9news.com/story/news/local/politics/2014/08/13/colorado-capitol-dome-new-gold/13990637/

Fox 31 – http://kdvr.com/2014/08/13/crews-begin-finishing-touches-on-capitol-dome-oct-2-reopening-planned/

Ch. 2 --  http://kwgn.com/2014/08/13/crews-begin-finishing-touches-on-capitol-dome-oct-2-reopening-planned/

Channel 7 – http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/front-range/denver/video-gilders-rappel-down-colorado-capitol-dome

Channel 4 -- http://denver.cbslocal.com/2014/08/13/finishing-touches-for-state-capitol-gold-dome/