Utah foundry hired for restoration project on U.S. Capitol dome

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WEST JORDAN, Utah – It is only the second time restoration work has been done on the U.S. Capitol building since 1959, and the first time for some parts of the building.

“We are doing a complete restoration of the Capitol dome, which includes removing over a dozen layers of paint, removing corrosion, putting all new paint, sealants on the dome, repairing cracks and also recasting any missing or badly damaged pieces of cast iron,” said Joe Abriatis, construction manager for the Restoration Dome Project.

Abriatis said Historical Arts and Casting in West Jordan was chosen to restore the U.S. Capitol building because it stood out among the competition.

“All the general contractors submit bids, and they’re selected based on best value to the government,” he said.

The Capitol was built in 1855 and it’s the first time some of cast iron will be recast.

“A pattern will be made of that piece to recast a new replica of it, that will then be recast, painted, shipped back to the project where it will be re-installed on the dome,” Abriatis said.

Abriatis said they're using a similar process from the 1800’s. And foundry pourers are incorporating old pieces into the new material.

“We’re still casting using more modern equipment, but it`s still the same overall process they used in the 1850’s and 1860’s to build the dome,” he said.

These pieces should be completed and put back on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C. by the end of the year.