Seventeen months after it was destroyed by fire, the new golden dome of Old Capitol will be set in place next week on the University of Iowa’s centerpiece. The new dome is 18-feet wide, weighs 12-thousand pounds and is gleaming with eight-thousand dollars worth of gold leaf. A giant crane will set it in place Monday between noon and one. Shalla Wilson, assistant director of the Old Capitol Museum, says the anticipation is excruciating. Wilson says to see the gold dome put back on top and sparkle in the sun will be wonderful. The six-million dollar fire in November of 2001 came just a few weeks after the nine-eleven attacks. Wilson says it was a “very devastating day. It was 160 years that went up in flames that morning and I’m not sure I’ve gotten over it yet.” Old Capitol is far from over it too. This first rebuilding phase will last into spring and is the first of four phases.The dome will stick out of the canvas enclosure, inside of which, workers are still rebuilding and painting the cupola. That work should be done in another few months and the canvas can be removed, restoring the building’s exterior, though Wilson says much work still needs to be done on the interior to repair water damage.
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