Restor­ing the light (and paint job) of democ­racy

Austin American-Statesman - - FRONT PAGE -

Work­ers have set up scaf­fold­ing in the Texas Capi­tol’s House cham­ber and around its cen­tral dome as part of a re­pair project that is ex­pected to cost about $3.5 mil­lion.

The ren­o­va­tors will be paint­ing the sheet-metal dome to match the color of the sun­set-red gran­ite that con­sti­tutes the rest of the build­ing’s ex­te­rior, a project last done dur­ing a ma­jor restora­tion ef­fort in 1993.

The ceil­ing of the House cham­ber, with its more than 200 pen­dants, will have lead-based paint stripped away by work­ers in a sealed con­tain­ment area.

The in­te­rior work is ex­pected to be com­plete by mid-Novem­ber in plenty of time for the start of the next leg­isla­tive ses­sion in Jan­uary.

Jay Jan­ner pho­tos

Lee Baker, di­rec­tor of fa­cil­i­ties at the State Preser­va­tion Board, at top, gets a close look at the House cham­ber ceil­ing.

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