Have you been by the North Carolina Capitol lately? The classic looking blue dome (although I sometimes think it’s green at certain times of the day) is being replaced right now with new copper panels. That’s just one of a few other renovations that are coming to our modest, yet architecturally significant, capitol building.
Over time, the copper will oxidize and turn blue (or green?) again. Here’s the high-level details from a press release:
This marks the third roof replacement in the Capitol’s history. The original copper covering of the dome was first replaced in 1888. By the late 1960s, the roof was again deteriorating. In 1971 the General Assembly appropriated funds for a new roof, and the old copper was recycled into souvenir jewelry.
At first, the Capitol’s new roof will be shiny like a new penny – the signature green color will take years to return as the new copper oxidizes. This process can take 10-20 years, depending on the weather.
Originally, 28 fireplaces warmed the Capitol’s offices and legislative chambers. In the spring and summer months, open windows provided relief from the heat. Central air conditioning for the House and Senate Chambers was installed in the late 1950s. In 2023, the air conditioning units on the roof will be moved into the building’s attic spaces, providing the exterior with a more attractive and historically accurate look.
StoneFRIDAY, APRIL 28, 2023 – North Carolina State Capitol to Close to Public Beginning May 3 For Renovations
The Capitol’s stone is a variety of granite called gneiss (pronounced “nice”). A team of enslaved and free men quarried the stone from a state-owned quarry located a mile southeast of Capitol Square. In recent years, some gneiss on the building’s exterior has begun to crumble and flake away. During this project, historic stone and masonry experts will clean, stabilize, and repair exterior stone blocks and repoint mortar joints.
- Union Square Grounds Renovations | September 13, 2009
- Pic of the Week | September 6, 2009
- A Visit To The Capitol | November 10, 2021
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