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Trump Targets Capitol Dome Restoration

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

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Real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has suggested restoration and painting work on the U.S. Capitol Building may take longer than expected.

However, the Architect of the Capitol (AOC) reports the project is on schedule.

According to NBC News, Trump said the extensive scaffolding system surrounding the Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C., would have to be disassembled for the 2017 inauguration and then put back up, costing taxpayers millions of dollars.

Architect of the Capitol
All images: Architect of the Capitol

Presidential candidate Donald Trump has recently commented on the scaffolding on the U.S. Capitol Dome in Washington, D.C., sparking officials to report the project is on schedule.

"They're going to take all of the scaffolding down, pay millions of dollars to do that, millions,” Trump reportedly said during an appearance in Dallas on Monday (Sept. 14).

“And then after the inauguration, they're going to put it back up again and pay millions of dollars more," he said, according to the news bureau. Trump reportedly cited unnamed construction sources.

Scaffolding at Issue

The presidential hopeful suggested that if elected to office, he would permit the scaffolding to stay up during his inauguration.

“If I win, I will let the scaffolding stay up” during the inaugural festivities, he said. “We’ll save millions of dollars.”

He also commented that crews could work quicker to meet the inaugural deadline. Crews mostly work at night and on the weekends as the building remains open during the repairs.

AOC: Work On Schedule

Trump's remarks sparked a response from the office of the AOC Stephen T. Ayers.

“The project is still on schedule to be complete before the next presidential inauguration,” spokesman Justin Kieffer told NBC News. “There is no plan to put scaffolding back up on the Dome after the inauguration.”

AOC work

Work to restore the Capitol Dome to its original splendor is on schedule, according to the Architect of the Capitol.

The AOC plans for exterior work on the dome to be complete by winter 2015, according to project details. Interior work on the rotunda is scheduled for a fall 2016 completion.

The massive scaffolding system weighs 1.1 million pounds and includes 52 miles of scaffold pipe and 2 miles of decking, the AOC has said.

Project Updates, Details

The multi-year, $60 million project to restore one of the most iconic symbols in America includes paint removal, repairs to cast iron and repainting. Such a significant restoration has not been performed on the Capitol Dome since 1959 to 1960, according to the AOC.

Large containment areas that were on the dome during the lead-based paint removal process were recently removed, according to a project update.

Cast iron repairs and painting are currently taking place. The AOC reports that 1,215 gallons of paint will be used to repaint the dome—three layers of 405 gallons each. The final top coat color is “Dome White,” the AOC said.

The Capitol Dome is made of 9 million pounds of fireproof cast iron and was designed by Philadelphia architect Thomas U. Walter to replace an original dome of copper and wood.

The Dome was built from 1855 to 1866; the final section of the Statue of Freedom atop the Dome was installed on Dec. 2, 1863.

The joint venture of Turner Construction Company and Smoot Construction is leading the restoration project.

current stage of restoration



Tagged categories: Architectural coatings; Architecture; Government; Government contracts; Lead paint abatement; Maintenance + Renovation; North America; Project Management; Restoration

Comment from William Feliciano, (9/16/2015, 8:16 AM)

Was this really an issue? Would any newly elected president (or the agency in charge of the construction) really consider dismantling such an intricate scaffolding system for what is really just a glorified photo op? Scary.

Comment from Mike McCloud, (9/17/2015, 8:24 AM)

William, this is scary, but that's how our government has been operated. I'm leaning more and more towards Trump every day!

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