Secretary Martin Unveils Restoration of Capitol Dome
(Dec. 5, 2013) LITTLE ROCK — Secretary of State Mark Martin on Thursday unveiled the restoration of the State Capitol’s interior dome to its 1914 appearance.
“I’m honored to be part of the process of restoring this building to its original grandeur,” Martin said before the ceremony.
The project, funded by a grant from the Arkansas Natural and Cultural Resources Council, began in late July and concluded by mid-November. It involved chemical analysis of the original paint to recreate colors, as well as repairing plaster in the dome.
Evergreene Architectural Arts of Oak Park, Ill., did the decorative painting and glazing. Using 16 shades of paint, they emphasized carving and trim, making details visible that had been lost to view for years.
Project architect Gary Clements, of Clements & Associates Architecture, has conducted several restoration projects for the Capitol. The dome, he said, was the most significant.
Baldwin & Shell Construction Company was the general contractor and has completed many notably ornate buildings. Executive Vice President Scott Copas said his crew was excited to work on the Capitol, and Project Superintendent Jerry Wheetley earlier said he was very pleased and proud of the work.
Martin said all Arkansans can be pleased with the results.
“I’m extremely pleased with the restoration,” he said. “We had some excellent artisans working on the Capitol this summer and fall. Thanks to their dedication, visitors to the Capitol can more easily see the fine craftsmanship original to the building.”
The project finished just in time to be showcased with Christmas decorations, Martin said. “With the restoration just concluded, we are very proud to present the building to the thousands of Arkansans who will visit at Christmas.”