Amazing Scaffold inside US Capitol

The famous Dome of the United States Capitol
building has been shrouded in scaffolding for the past 2 years. The
150 year old cast iron dome was last repaired in 1960, but in
November 2014, a new project to restore the landmark was

Extensive Damage

Although the Dome of the Capitol appears to be
made of stone, it is actually constructed of cast iron, which is
painted to match the stonework of the rest of the building.
Exposure to snow, sleet, and rain has caused extensive damage to
the exterior and interior surfaces.

Water entering the Dome through the Statue of
Freedom and over 1000
within the exterior shell, led to rusting of the
ironwork and damage to protective coatings of paint. This has led
to some parts of the building falling to the ground.

As part of the
restoration project
, vertical scaffold towers have been erected
on the West Front to allow workers to reach the Dome, along with
further scaffolding beginning at the base and lower levels,
eventually reaching the Statue of Freedom at the peak of the
building. Protective netting within the Capitol Rotunda protects
visitors and staff during the restoration.

Hazardous Materials

The erection of the scaffolding, which
looks almost as spectacular as the building it covers
, has
allowed specialists to work at height to remove hazardous materials
such as lead paint from the 1950s, to restore and repair the
ironwork, and to upgrade and install lighting and electrical
systems. The Dome is being given a fresh coat of paint, in a colour
matched to the original.

Most of the restoration will be completed
overnight and at weekends, so that Congressional business, events
and public tours are unaffected. The $60 million restoration is
scheduled to be completed by the presidential inauguration in

The project will preserve one of the nation’s
most iconic structures, offering protection from the elements for
at least the next 50 years, and preserving the Dome for generations
to come.