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Intensive care for a damaged dome

Inside the U.S. Capitol dome’s restoration

Inside the U.S. Capitol dome’s restoration

Intensive care
for a damaged dome

Extensive repairs have begun on the 1,000 or so cracks, leaks, and patches of corrosion dotting the cast-iron dome that has stood atop the U.S. Capitol since the Civil War. The Rotunda will be closed to the public until April 28 to allow preparatory work, but it will be open for the entire two-year process, which will cost about $60 million.

For a sense of scale, the Capitol building reaches 288 feet, just more than half the height of the Washington Monument.

555 feet Washington Monument
453 feet St. Peter’s Basilica
288 feet U.S. Capitol building

SOURCES: Eugene Poole, project manager for the Architect of the Capitol; Carlos Elias, superintendent of the Capitol building; Gary J. Reed of Lock-N-Stitch; John Allen of Allen Architectural Metals; Thomas McGonegal of Safway Services. NOTE: A previous version of this graphic reported inconsistent dates for the closing of the Rotunda.

GRAPHIC: Bonnie Berkowitz, Alberto Cuadra, Sohail Al-Jamea, Katie Park and Kevin Schaul. Published April 16, 2014.

Intensive care for a damaged dome

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