Local News

From Kentucky Public Radio’s Tony McVeigh

Kentucky’s State Capitol in Frankfort will be 100 years old next year and efforts are already underway to spruce up the dome of the historic building’s rotunda. rotunda1

The rotunda dome hasn’t been painted in years because the building lacks an efficient system for getting the job done. It’s 172 feet from the marble floor to the top of the dome. Scaffolding can’t be used because that would be too much weight in a room with five huge statues. David Buchta of the Division of Historic Properties says bids are going out for installation of a pulley system, anchored by the steel beams that support the dome.

“That allows us to clip in and have a method of sometimes…we can do as needed painting up there,” Buchta said. rotunda2

He says the dome used to be lit by nearly 900 light bulbs, which haven’t worked in years. Those will be replaced by high-efficiency LED lighting. The centennial celebration of the Capitol’s 1910 dedication is set for next summer. rotunda3

(Interior photos by Jim Bowen0306 and Sid Webb ; exterior photo from the Kentucky Finance Cabinet)

Rick Howlett is host of WFPL's weekly talk show, "In Conversation."