Sunday, February 20, 2011
The State Capitol Preservation and Restoration Commission has been around since 1973, but it only recently launched a website, at www.cga.ct.gov/cprc. The site is a beauty, with a nice history of the state Capitol and grounds, great photos, and lots of information on current projects.
The Capitol underwent a massive restoration between 1978 and 1988, but preservation of a historic landmark is never finished, especially when it comes to such a prominent -- and still-heavily-used -- symbol of Connecticut history. The current projects include a "Green Capitols" effort to keep rainwater from running off into the already-overburdened city sewer system by installing rain gardens, rain harvesting systems, and new walkways that allow the water to filter into the ground. Then there's the effort to replace the 1878 bronze Genius figure, which sat atop the Capitol dome until it was damaged in the 1938 hurricane and finally was melted down for ammunition and machine parts in World War II. A new bronze casting, made with laser measurements of the original plaster model, is complete but can't be hoisted to the dome until $200,000 is found for the operation. For now, it's on display in the Capitol lobby, along with the plaster model.
Congratulations to the state legislature's Information Technology Services staff for building a site that's sure to raise the profile of a great landmark.