US Capitol dome to undergo restoration - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

US Capitol dome to undergo restoration

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(Image: http://www.aoc.gov) (Image: http://www.aoc.gov)
(Image: http://www.aoc.gov) (Image: http://www.aoc.gov)
WASHINGTON -

It is a beaming beacon of our democracy -- the U.S. Capitol and its bright, shiny dome.

"It's just absolutely breathtaking," says Teri Becchetti-Raven, visiting from Las Vegas. "There's really no way to get a full idea of it when you see it in pictures. It's bigger than we ever thought it was going to be."

But starting next month, the 150-year-old cast iron dome will undergo a major renovation.

Repairs are needed to fix more than 1,000 cracks in the iron that leak. The work to be done at night and weekends so as to not interfere with the work of Congress. And yes, for an estimated two years, the dome will be covered in scaffolding.

"I mean it looks a bit ugly for a while, but if you've got to restore something," says Stephen Watson who is visiting from Australia. "You've got to protect something that's your heritage, its history, its culture."

"It's too bad for people who've never seen it before, says Ms. Becchetti-Raven. “But at the same time, it's what you have to do."

The last major renovation of the Capitol dome was in 1959 and 1960.

The Architect of the Capitol says while repairs are being done outside, the Rotunda will be open, but with views obstructed by a white canopy in the shape of a donut.

It is all for a good cause, officials say, to last the next 50 years.

Online:

www.aoc.gov/dome


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