Capitol dome to be unwrapped

DENVER – Thursday, Dec. 26, 2013 - Construction crews at the Colorado State Capitol began unwrapping a present for the entire state today as the scrim covering the iconic gold dome started coming down, revealing its shiny new surface.

“The unveiling of the new state capitol dome really symbolizes Colorado’s spirit of determination and our ability to emerge from difficult circumstances with a more solid foundation and bright outlook,” said Kathy Nesbitt, Executive Director of the Department of Personnel & Administration.

“After battling some challenging weather conditions this fall, the gilding process on the dome is complete and the project is still running on time and budget,” said State Architect Larry Friedberg. He is referring to two bouts with high winds and the record-setting cold snap earlier this month that impacted the gilding’s progress at the site.

Over the next few days crews are expected to remove the scrim, followed by the scaffolding that has encircled the gold dome since May.  Both will be disassembled down to the observation deck at the base of the gold dome. 

It is expected to take just two days to remove the top portion of the scrim, weather permitting.  Then, just before New Year’s Eve, the scaffolding will begin its descent and take roughly six weeks to remove down to the observation deck. 

Despite the completion of the dome’s re-gilding, the restoration project still is not complete.  According to Friedberg, “We still have some important work remaining to restore the observation deck and drum structure below the dome before we reopen the space to the public.” That final portion of the project is anticipated to end sometime in late summer 2014.

All of the forensic analysis on the project is complete. Every part of the dome has been assessed and general contractor GH Phipps does not expect any more hidden structural issues to affect progress. 

“If we have done our jobs well,” Friedberg said of the restoration, “you won’t be able to tell we were there, except the building will be in much better shape than it was before we started.”



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