Utah Company Works to Restore U.S. Capitol Dome
Historical Arts and Casting is a small Utah company you’ve probably never heard of, but right now they’re working to help restore the dome on the United States Capitol in Washington D.C.
Out on the far west side of the Salt Lake Valley is a non-descript warehouse where craftsmen are creating hundreds of cast iron replacement parts for the dome of the U.S. Capitol. And the process isn’t easy.
“The parts that we’re replacing, if something has been damaged or broken beyond repair, we have to be able to make its replacement, but it has to fit exactly where it came from," says Steve Brownb of Historical Arts and Casting. "It has to bolt to the adjacent parts through the exact same holes, fit the exact space that it originally rested in.”
To get that exactness workers create individual molds for each part that needs to be replaced. Some of the pieces are large, like replacement parts for a handrail, while others are small and intricate ornamentation pieces.
“To be able to say that you’re part of that and you did create something that fulfills the requirements completely, you know, the workers and the team take pride and satisfaction in achieving that,” Brown says.
The original dome was constructed during the Civil War and became a symbol of healing after. Joe Abriatis works for the Architect of the Capitol and is the construction manager of the Dome restoration Project. He says that history is just one of the many reasons why restoration is so important.
“The dome represents what this country’s about, and freedom, and to not preserve it would just be a crime.”
The outside restoration of the dome will cost about $60 million dollars and is expected to be completed in early 2016.