The Capitol Dome Was Once Red

Remember the red Capitol Dome that we posted some time ago? Here’s another great view of it.

- click image for more -
In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.
In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.

Source: Architect of the Capitol

Below is the caption from their Flickr feed.

In late 1959 through 1960, the Capitol Dome underwent a significant repair and restoration effort and at the end of 1959 the exterior of the Dome was surrounded by scaffold.

During the work, workmen using special pneumatic hammers removed paint from the iron, which was then sandblasted. Since bare iron rusts quickly it had to be treated with a red protective rust inhibiting coating within five hours of paint removal. Corroded and cracked metal was repaired or replaced where necessary, loose bolts were tightened, and missing bolts replaced. New bronze window frames were installed in the tholus and the interior bracing in the Statue of Freedom was reinforced. Repairs were made to the drainage system and flashing, and the Dome was completely inspected and repaired using stainless tell wherever extra strength was needed. The work also put in additional lightning and bird protection.

More: www.aoc.gov/capitol-buildings/capitol-dome

This official Architect of the Capitol photograph is being made available for educational, scholarly, news or personal purposes (not advertising or any other commercial use). When any of these images is used the photographic credit line should read “Architect of the Capitol.” These images may not be used in any way that would imply endorsement by the Architect of the Capitol or the United States Congress of a product, service or point of view. For more information visit www.aoc.gov.

About Tom

Tom founded Ghosts of DC on January 4th, 2012 as a blog to uncover the lost and untold history of Washington, D.C. He has lived in the city for over a decade and loves exploring every corner of the District.

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  • Johnny Danger

    The photo is reversed – look at the steering wheels of the cars!

    • TBex

      Steering wheel on the right-hand side was standard practice early on. Though I think cars manufactured in the 1950s would’ve switch to left-hand side, there would’ve been stragglers on the road for some time.