WASHINGTON (October 22, 2013)--The 150-year-old, cast-iron dome of the U.S. Capitol will be sheathed in scaffolding, the first step in the first major restoration of the dome since 1960.
The architect of the Capitol, Stephen T. Ayers, announced the restoration work on Tuesday, saying it's needed to address more than 1,000 cracks and other problems in the structure.
The restoration is expected to cost about $59.5 million and will take about two years.
Ayers said the "critical work" must be done now to save the dome.
He said that even though the Capitol looks great from a distance, age and weather have taken a toll.
The repairs aren't expected to affect legislative business or tours.