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July 15, 2013 06:00 PM

State Restoring Historic Capitol Windows

Pierre, SD

If you visit the South Dakota Capitol Building in Pierre, you'll see it holds a lot of history. After 100 years, state officials are working to restore some of that.

"I'm really impressed with the whole capitol here," visitor Daniel Muzzy said.

Muzzy appreciates everything from the stone pillars to the stained glass windows on the ceiling. The state has set aside more than $2.5 million to restore the stained glass, which is original to the building.

"It's wonderful that it has lasted this long, but it is time to take care of the glass for another 100 years," Bureau of Administration spokesperson Mike Mueller said.

Even reinforcement work that's been done over the years is failing, so contractors will take all the stained glass out and send it to Wisconsin to be reframed using stronger material.

The process will start at the end of the month when the contractors start building up scaffolding in the rotunda to reach stained glass 96 feet off the floor. Once that's removed, crews will move on to restore stained glass in the House, Senate and over the grand staircase.

"To put some perspective on the size of project this is, there's more than 4,400 square feet of stained glass that we'll restore. Overall, that's just a little smaller than an NBA basketball court," Mueller said.

But given the history the glass represents, the state is saying the project is worth it. As he tours the capitol with his family, Muzzy agrees.

"To keep the windows and the glass as close as possible to the original does a lot to keep the authenticity," Muzzy said.

The project should be done in about 14 months, just in time for South Dakota’s 125th anniversary.

The state will have painted plywood in the windows' place while contractors reframe the glass.

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  • Pierre, SD
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