The Office of Administration announced Monday that renovation on the exterior of the Missouri State Capitol building is nearing the halfway point. Currently, the project is about 45 percent complete and remains on budget and on schedule with anticipated completion at the end of 2020.
The construction period of Phase II of the Missouri State Capitol Construction Project began on March 2, 2018. After more than 100 years of wear and tear, the exterior and substructure of the historic Missouri State Capitol Building had suffered significant deterioration.
As the building’s first major construction project, it will bring the structure back to serviceable condition and address the deteriorating stonework on its facades, dome and drum, which was completed in 1917. Upon completion, the project will essentially extend the life of the building as well as improve the overall appearance, structural stability and water shedding capacity, ensuring that the historic structure is properly preserved for decades to come.
In the past year, work on the entire east horseshoe (the east, northeast, and southeast portions) of the Capitol have been completed, including all cleaning, stone repairs, and stone replacement. In the next couple of weeks, the scaffolding and covering surrounding the east horseshoe will start to come down so it can be used on the west side horseshoe. This process is anticipated to be completed later this spring. Some water proofing work and the replacement of pavers remains to be completed on the east and northeast sides of the building.
The north plaza on the north side of West Capitol Avenue was completed in December. Some minor work remains to be completed in the plaza, such as cleaning of the Louisiana Treaty Monument and sealing of the Fountain of the Centaurs liner. That work is weather dependent and is expected to be completed this spring.
In addition, 50 percent of the work on the Dome and Drum has been completed, including major structural improvements to the lantern. Overall, 50 percent of the needed water proofing of the Capitol has been completed. As construction moves to the west side of the building, water proofing will continue.
“I applaud the work of the general contractor Bully and Andrews Masonry Restoration, the Office of Administration, and the Missouri State Capitol Commission for their collaboration in restoring this historic building and keeping the project on schedule,” said Lt. Gov. Mike Kehoe. “The Missouri Capitol is the symbol of our state government and these updates will help preserve the people’s house for future generations to enjoy.”
“The restoration of the Missouri Capitol has been a team effort all around,” said Office of Administration Commissioner Sarah Steelman. “I am thrilled with the work that has been done so far and cannot wait until the people of Missouri get to see all the progress that has been made.”
“It’s incredible to see all the work that’s been achieved in the past year, and I look forward to seeing continued progress on the Capitol project,” said Dana Miller, Chairwoman of the Missouri State Capitol Commission and Chief Clerk of the Missouri House Representatives. “This project is historic in itself, and I’m proud of the crew and everyone involved who’s working so hard to restore the building.”
As the construction continues on the Capitol, an important piece of the building is currently being restored off site.
The statue of Ceres, the Roman goddess of agriculture, which was removed from the top of the Capitol in November, is currently on track to be back on site in late 2019. She is undergoing laser cleaning treatment, which is less invasive, to safely remove contaminants while also preserving her natural color tones and patina of her bronze.
Though a bronze statue, Ceres is made up of approximately 94 percent copper, which has helped keep the statue in great shape throughout her years. During the evaluation of the statue, it was determined she had been struck by lightning more than 300 times, but lightning never traveled through her. She weighs 1,407 pounds.
In recent weeks, crews have worked diligently to replace covering that rips during high winds. The repair and replacement of the covering has not affected the project’s timeline. The Office of Administration works closely with the construction crew to monitor weather conditions for the safety of workers, which is a top priority of the project.
The public should not be alarmed when the covering rips. It is designed to come off when winds reach or exceed 50 MPH. This prevents lifting and damaging to the scaffolding and building. Recent high winds have not damaged the scaffolding or the building.
For more information about the project, go to capitol.mo.gov/construction.