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Release: May 16, 2002

Regents hear Old Capitol restoration plans

Architects and University of Iowa officials presented detailed, four-phase plans for the restoration of the Old Capitol to the Board of Regents, State of Iowa, meeting here.

The most visible aspect of the project will be the reconstruction of the dome, cupola, and bell tower, which were totally destroyed in the fire, and replacement of the asphalt shingles on the roof with a standing-seam metal roof. These repairs, Phase One of the project, will cost an estimated $4.45 million, and should be completed in February, 2003.

Phase Two of the plan moves inside the building with repairs to the building’s unique reverse spiral stairs, wooden floors and plaster walls, and other parts of the building damaged by water used to extinguish the fire. This phase includes not only reconstruction and repair of damage directly caused by the November 2001 fire, but a number of improvements to the building, from improved fire suppression technology to lighting upgrades to new exhibit spaces. The approximate costs are being calculated for Phase Two, the most complex portion of the project.

Phase Three of the project will resume the restoration of exterior portions of the building that was delayed by the fire. It includes restoration of the west portico and wood trim, repointing masonry, relaying the west stairs, replacing storm windows, and general window repair. Costs of this phase have not yet been figured..

Bradd Brown of OPN Architects, Inc, Cedar Rapids and representatives of the Boston architectural firm Einhorn Yaffee Prescott presented the plans. OPN Architects and Einhorn Yaffee Prescott were selected as project architects by the Regents earlier. Phase four involves restoring landscape areas around the building.

Old Capitol photo enlargement
Old Capitol floor plan