State House Dome

2017 Preservation Achievement Award: State of New Hampshire: Department of Administration Services, Bureau of Plant and Property Management Division of Public Works for outstanding restoration of the State House Dome

with: Turnstone Corporation, D.L. King and Associates, Lavallee /Brensinger (Architect), Foley Buhl Roberts & Associates, Simpson Gumpertz & Heger, DHG Glabe & Associates, Jay Steel LLC, Longchamps Electric, RTH Mechanical Contractors, John L. Carter Sprinkler Co., MJ Murphy & Sons, Academy Roofing, Seacoast Scaffolding, Dennison Millwork, Caprioli Painting, Evergreen Architectural Arts, Priestly Lightning Protection LLC

This project started with the regular sorts of challenges as well as two more unusual ones: the crews had to complete the restoration of the dome in a single season (to avoid gilding failure as seen in the last project of its kind) and scaffolding had to be built that didn't rely on the existing roof. 

After months of evaluating of existing State House structure, the team came together with a platform design to be supported by the existing masonry within the building. The permanent platform -invisible from the street - had to support 500,000 pounds of scaffolding and equipment.

Turnstone Corporation was hired to orchestrate one of the state’s most complex and delicate engineering projects. Challenges included ensuring safety to visitors and employees while scaffolding was constructed; a ten week timeline to construct the permanent scaffolding platform; obstacles for crane operators and steel delivery trucks; and the need for absolute precision and execution on a building that is not perfectly square.

The City of Concord’s Fire Department and the Police Department assisted to make this work efficient and safe for everyone. Once the platform was constructed in November 2015, then the Dome Restoration project was back on track. D.L. King orchestrated the next step: replacing rotting pine trim on the lantern and dome with white oak, patching sheathing, repairing windows, painting the exterior, re-gilding the eagle, and applying gold leaf last done in the 1990s by a crew clipped into bosun’s chairs. The scaffolding allowed workers to be within inches of the surface of the Dome and Lantern Base. Thanks to great team approach, solid partnerships, dedicated crew, and the occasional pizza party, the dome was finished on time and on budget. The result of this multi-million dollar restoration is stunning, from the smallest details to the re-gilding of the Eagle.

It was a monumental task for a monumental building and it promises to delight generations to come.

Photos courtesy of D.L. King and Associates.