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Upgrade to Maryland's State House Dome First Step in $34M Restoration Effort

Sat January 22, 2022 - Northeast Edition
Maryland Matters


The Board of Public Works approved a construction contract to restore the Maryland State House exterior. In recent years, paint on the iconic State House dome has become chipped and stained. (Danielle E. Gaines photo)
The Board of Public Works approved a construction contract to restore the Maryland State House exterior. In recent years, paint on the iconic State House dome has become chipped and stained. (Danielle E. Gaines photo)

The historic State House dome in Annapolis, Md., will soon get a facelift.

The state's board of public works (BPW) signed off on a $1.5 million contract to revamp the façade of the State House on Jan. 26 — the first step in an extensive $34 million restoration project.

"By moving forward with this major restoration of the State House exterior and grounds, Marylanders can be reassured that this national treasure will continue to stand strong for generations to come," Gov. Larry Hogan said in a statement.

The Maryland BPW awarded the contract for the dome upgrade to The Christman Co., a Michigan-based building contractor with a D.C. Metro location in nearby Sterling, Va.

The agreement with the construction firm received unanimous approval from Hogan, State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot, Maryland Matters reported

Christman previously restored the State House's Old House of Delegates Chamber and the Old Senate Chamber.

Officials Studying How to Restore Dome

Maryland's State House is the oldest state capitol building still in legislative use. The two-and-a-half-year contract will initially prioritize the restoration of its dome, BPW announced.

"The State House dome is a captivating part of this grand building dating back to 1772, making the dome and the State House national treasures," noted Hogan.

But in recent years, white paint from the dome has been visibly chipped and stained.

Maryland Matters reported that Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects in New York was awarded a contract to investigate the condition of the State House dome last November by sampling its paint, analyzing construction materials and identifying historic fabrics.

The investigation was completed in early December, and the results are currently being studied by the state's Department of General Services (DGS) and the Maryland Historical Trust to define the scope of restorative work to be done.

"As the stewards of the State House and state-owned buildings, we have an abundance of appreciation for our historic state capitol," noted DGS Secretary Ellington E. Churchill, in a statement. "And as the lead agency for state building construction, we know the importance of delivering a quality project for the citizens of Maryland."

In addition to the dome, Christman will maintain and restore the State House's exterior stone and brick masonry, doors, windows, and artistic embellishments, as well as the brick masonry on State Circle's retaining wall and its irrigation system, ramps, walkways, railings and landscaping.

The deal with Christman also calls for the contractor to stabilize and potentially restore Maryland's Old Treasury building for future use. That historic structure was built between 1735 and 1736, making it Maryland's oldest public building.

"This project not only helps preserve over 270 years of history but will continue to allow Marylanders and visitors to learn about the history of the country and [the state]," Churchill stated.




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