Iowa State Capitol - Small Domes Gilding

Des Moines, IA

Iowa’s first state capitol building was originally constructed in Iowa City between 1840 and 1842. When the capitol was moved to the more central city of Des Moines in 1857 a new capitol building was required.

Changes to the building began in 1902 when work was done to finally complete the missing features and make any necessary repairs. During this time several changes were made including the switch from gas to electric lights, replacing the slate roof with copper, and re-gilding of the dome. In 1904, fire swept through the Supreme Court and House of Representatives, which required additional restoration. The dome was re-gilded again in the mid 1960s. The Iowa State Capitol was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1976, which spurred a renewed effort to preserve and restore the building. The mid-1980s through 2000 saw restoration to both the interior and exterior elements, which included re-gilding of the dome, as well as updates to mechanical and electrical systems.

EverGreene has gilded these small domes twice first in the 1990s, along with gilding the main dome. In 2023, EverGreene returned to re-gild the four small flanking domes of the Iowa State Capitol Building. EverGreene restoration specialists gilded several decorative features on the domes, including the finials, cupolas, over-window moldings, and the parts of the decorative ribbing pattern. Each element was stripped, prepped, and gilded using 23.75 karat, 22 gram gold leaf.