Water Damage Strikes Golden Dome; Capitol Restoration Planned

Apr 20, 2016

The golden dome of the historic Iowa State Capitol is succumbing to damage from the inside out, and scaffolding will soon envelop the structure as part of a $10 million restoration.  

The dome was regilded in 2005, but McCoy says the current problems weren't apparent during a prior restoration project. 

Des Moines Democrat Matt McCoy says moisture has seeped in and eroded the mortar.

“They are going to have to go up into the dome, with scaffolding all around the dome,” McCoy says, “and fix and repair the cupola on down.”

That will involve tuck-pointing and other repairs.

McCoy says the project will be delayed because of the National Governor’s Association, which will meet in Des Moines in July.

“The governor wants the capitol to look great when the Governor’s Association is here,” McCoy says.  “So it will start in the fall.  

‘It’s quite an extensive project and may take up to a year and a half,” McCoy said.

The appropriation is part of a $92 million infrastructure bill. 

McCoy says while crews are inside the dome, they will do additional work on areas they couldn’t normally reach. 

Credit John Pemble / IPR

He says the problems only recently came to the attention of facilities managers.

“They were made aware of them this year,” McCoy said.  “So they brought it right to us.”

McCoy said the dome repairs will be paid for with money left over from other bond issues.