A golden day for the Colorado State Capitol Dome Restoration Project

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.

(Left) On April 27, the Colorado State Capitol Dome’s scaffolding was partially covered by white fire-retardant scrim to protect workers from the elements and also allow for sandblasting within a contained area. (Top) These days the scaffolding can hardly be seen beneath the scrim as the restoration project is underway. (Above right) The black-and-white image of the Capitol, with the Dome section highlighted in gold, is displayed on the black T-shirts worn by miners from AngloGold Ashanti of North America who were at the Capitol on June 18. (Above left) Gov. John Hickenlooper and Anglo Gold Ashanti and CC&V Gold Mining Co VP/General Manager Ray Dubois shake hands as the Governor receives a framed 10 troy oz ingot of 24K gold.

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.

Colorado State Treasurer Walker Stapleton, front and left, joins others at the state Capitol for a group photo highlighting the framed 10 ounces of gold that will be held in reserve “just in case” the Capitol dome restoration needs a little bit more gold.

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.

Colorado State Patrolman M.T. Honn stands guard over the Brinks truck bearing the gold that will be affixed to the Capitol dome.

Completion of the project is scheduled for the end of summer 2014.

Governor John Hickenlooper leafs through a package of gold leaf squares, assisted by Anglo Gold manager of state government affairs Marie Patterson.
Mining folks on the steps of the Capitol are Business Improvement Manager of Cripple Creek and Victor Gold Mining Company Brent Kuhn, Stuart A. Sanderson, president of the Colorado Mining Association, CC&V Environmental Manager Tim Comer and CC&V Senior Human Resources Manager Lori Gray, who chat while awaiting arrival of the gold for the Capitol dome restoration.
Nick and Gayle Berry join CC&V miners at the Capitol when the gold arrives for the dome restoration. She is a former state representative from Grand Junction and he designs and builds houses.
Photos by John Schoenwalter/The Colorado Statesman