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Capitol Dome The Latest Iconic Building Under Repairs

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Pieces of the Capitol dome are quite literally falling off.
Matt Laslo
Pieces of the Capitol dome are quite literally falling off.

The Capitol Dome is the next iconic piece of D.C.'s skyline getting covered up by construction crews.

This summer, the Washington Monument and the Supreme Court's majestic pillars were hidden from the public's gaze. Next up: your iconic Capitol Dome.

"A scaffolding built up and bridged over the West Front terrace," says Stephen T. Ayers, the Architect of the Capitol. "Then a work platform built around the base of the Dome on the roof of the Capitol building. Then you'll see scaffolding going up  sort of rings of scaffolding."

It's been more than 50 years since it's had a complete restoration and it's time for a face lift. The problem is the Dome is suffering from more than 1,000 cracks or deficiencies. Congress has already allocated nearly $60 million for the project, which Ayers says should cover it — though no guarantees after the Capitol Visitor Center ran more than $300 million over budget.

"Guarantee? That's a big word," Ayer says. "Well, we're pretty confident, I'll give you that."

Sadly, this spring the inspiring Capitol Rotunda will also be covered with a massive canopy as a part of the project. The architect is hoping the project will only take two years so the Dome can be unfurled to welcome in the forty fifth president of the United States.


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