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All That Glitters Is Gold: Finishing Touches On State Capitol Dome

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DENVER (CBS4) — It’s a case of all that glitters is gold as workers put the finishing touches on the new gold leaf covering the state Capitol’s dome.

Crews began rappelling down the dome around sunrise Wednesday morning in preparation for the upcoming dedication and reopening of the Capitol’s observation deck.

The gold leaf is very delicate and crews had to be careful where they stepped on the dome. They also wore soft-soled shoes during the project.

Copter4 flew over as workers replace gold leaf on the state Capitol dome (credit: CBS)

Copter4 flew over as workers replace gold leaf on the state Capitol dome (credit: CBS)

“The gold leaf is extremely thin and they have to be very careful,” said Dept. of Personnel & Administration spokesman Doug Platt.

The dome was regilded as part of a $17 million project to restore it both inside and out. That includes restoration to the inside of the observation deck.

“The gold dome is of course the most iconic– encompassed everything from the roof line up. The entire cylindrical structure, all manufactured out of cast iron, boy did it take a beating over 100 years,” said Platt.

The dome is modeled after St. Peter’s Cathedral in Rome, Italy.

(credit: CBS)

(credit: CBS)

For the past 2½ years the state Capitol has been covered during renovations.

“People walking by have seen it shrouded in a scrim, shrouded in scaffolding,” said Platt.

The gold came from Colorado’s Cripple Creek & Victor Gold Mining Co. and was shipped to Florence, Italy, where it was transformed into sheets of gold leaf.

The state Capitol (credit: CBS)

The state Capitol (credit: CBS)

Crews have a couple more weeks of work. The grand reopening for the finished project is October 2 when the public will be invited to come inside and enjoy the spectacular view of the city from the observation deck.

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