For the first time in about 18 months, the U.S. and state flags will be raised today over Old Capitol, the University of Iowa’s centerpiece. U-of-I President David Skorton will be among dignitaries taking part in the 12:15 P.M. ceremony, the first time flags have flown over the golden dome since the landmark was hit by fire in November of 2001. U-of-I spokesman Steve Parrott says it’s another big step in restoring the beautiful, historic building.Parrott says Old Capitol’s new 11-hundred pound bell will also be rung for the first time as part of the ceremony.The new dome was lifted into place in February. At about 18-feet wide and weighing some 12-thousand pounds, it replaces the original dome, which was destroyed in the six-million-dollar fire. Parrott says some — but not all — of the golden dome and cupola will also be unveiled in the ceremony. At least part of the tarp and scaffolding covering the dome, cupola and bell tower will be removed in the ceremony, allowing the first public viewing of the first phase of the restoration project. Parrott says work still needs to be done on the cupola and the roof needs to be replaced, so it’ll be mid-summer before Old Capitol looks like its old self again.
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