Iowa Capitol Building, Des Moines
N 41° 35.455 W 093° 36.261
15T E 449629 N 4604534
Quick Description: Iowa's Capitol has an 80 foot diameter Golden Dome.
Location: Iowa, United States
Date Posted: 9/13/2006 11:53:45 PM
Waymark Code: WMQCR
The Capital building construction began in 1871 and was almost completed in 1886. Only the South and West steps and some interior work were left when the Governor and legislature occupied it. In 1902 general modernization and completion of the steps began. In early 1904 a fire, probably caused by a construction workers candle, did a lot of damage to the North wing. Repairs were completed in late 1904. In 1983 an extensive modernization began and included exterior and interior restoration. Restoration continues today.
The Golden Dome is the unique feature of this building. It is 275 feet above the ground floor. There are 298 steps from the second floor to the dome. The dome has a diameter of 80 feet. It is covered with 23-karat gold leaf, which was then covered with a clear protective coating. The gold leaf has a thickness of 1/250,000th of an inch. The combined weight of the gold is 100 troy ounces or 6.856 lb. The original gilding of the dome cost $3,500. The 4th gilding of the dome occurred in 1998-99 at a cost of $300,000.
The main entries are not available for public use, and will not be available until sometime in the future, possibly not until construction is completed in 2015. The public entry for tours is located under the West stairway, on the north side of the steps. The coordinates above are for that entry.
Interstate highway 235 passes just North of the Capitol building. The upper part of the building and dome can be seen quite easily. Therefore, any logged visits that contain photos of just the upper portion of the building will be deleted without warning.