State of Colorado
  • Civic & Cultural

Restoring the People's Building

Colorado’s iconic statehouse, designed by Elijah E. Myers and completed between 1886 and 1903, stands proudly on a hill overlooking Civic Center Park at one mile above sea level. The 270-foot dome, originally covered in copper, has been gilded multiple times over the years to maintain its luster.

The Challenge

In 2006, a significant portion of cast iron fell from the dome of a popular observation deck, prompting its immediate closure and the launch of a fundraising campaign called “Share the Care Colorado.” With $16 million from the legislature and generous donations, repairs began.

Initially, the design team along with skilled artisans tackled the dome’s severe structural deterioration with strict adherence to preservation standards. Then, cast iron experts from Salt Lake City to dismantle the dome, replacing its copper with new material and adorning it with 24-karat Colorado gold leaf meticulously crafted by Italian artisans. Over 140,000 gold leaf sheets were used creating a sheath of gold on the dome one eight-thousandth of a millimeter thick.

Following the dome restoration, we replaced the slate and copper roof and restored the exterior granite façade and the Capitol’s windows, ensuring its strength and beauty for generations to come.

Gold on the Dome

The gold bullion used for the new gild was donated in 2011 by mine owner AngloGold Ashanti. The 24-karat gold, valued at more than $116,175, was shipped off to Florence, Italy, and milled into gold leaf.

View from the Top

Prior to restoration, access was closed to the lookout point. Now, once again, guests visit the observation deck for dramatic and memorable views of the Rocky Mountains.