The Colorado Capitol Dome Restoration Project — Share in the Care Colorado — reached a milestone this week when boxes of gold leaf, enough to cover the entire dome, and one 10 ounce 24 karat ingot, were officially presented to Gov. John Hickenlooper.
The gold was mined by Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Company, located in Teller County, and transformed in Italy into gold leaf to cover the capitol dome. The boxes were presented to the Governor in a bucket brigade carried up the west steps of the State Capitol by CC&V employees on June 18.
More than a century of water infiltration coupled with Colorado’s freeze/thaw cycle caused extreme rusting and deterioration of the metal surfaces on the exterior of the cast iron tower and dome. The corrosion included the metal fasteners holding the architectural details in place. Because of the damage, the outside observation deck has been closed to all visitors since 2006 when fasteners holding a portion of the cast iron detail failed and part of the structure fell. Fortunately nobody was injured.
A forensic investigation of the dome’s state of disrepair was completed and restoration began following passage of a package of bills by the legislature in 2010.The project’s goal is to restore and repair damage to the exterior painted circular tower above the roof of the Capitol, and re-gild the famous gold dome atop the century-old historic landmark with 65 ounces of gold — again donated to the state from the same Victor & Cripple Creek sources by AngoGold Ashanti.
Completion of the project is scheduled for the end of summer 2014.