If you're planning a trip to Washington D.C. to check out the popular tourist destinations any time soon, your photos of the U.S. Capitol might not look as majestic as you'd hoped.
The office of the Architect of the Capitol announced on Tuesday that the iconic dome will be undergoing repairs to eliminate the 1,000-plus cracks and deficiencies that have accumulated on the Dome over the years. These repairs have been in the works for about 10 years and will be the first major restoration project done on the capitol building since 1960.
A rendering of how the building will look during construction can be seen here.
Tourists, congressmen, and passersby alike can expect to see the Dome covered in scaffolding for roughly the next two years starting in November while the structural and cosmetic problems are attended to. Tours will also be unavailable during the process. An unnamed contractor was selected to do the work after a "full and open competitive bidding process."
“From a distance the Dome looks magnificent, thanks to the hard-work of our employees," Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers said in a statement today. "On closer look, under the paint, age and weather have taken its toll and the AOC needs to make repairs to preserve the Dome.”
A spokesman for Ayers said the repairs are expected to cost around $59.6 million. Constructed between 1855 and 1866, the Dome is 288 feet in height and still contains its original cast iron, which was determined to be in a "significant state of disrepair" following a report.
Regular construction updates will be available on the AOC website and Twitter page.