Bronze Lamposts, Handrails, & Urns

U.S. Capitol, Washington, D.C.

The U.S.Capitol Building stands as a monument to the innovation, skill, and pride of the American people. On September 18, 1793, President George Washington laid the cornerstone for the classic styled building. Over the course of its life, the Capitol has experienced fire, rebuilding, additions, and restoration. Our team also worked on a preservation campaign which included a multi-phase project focused on preserving the carved stone and decorative metal work on the Senate exterior.

Our conservators were contracted to assess and treat two handrail sets, two lampposts, twelve urns at the north and west facades of the Capitol. The bronze surfaces had developed a thick deposit of light green corrosion product on their surfaces. The goal of the treatment was to clean and refinish the bronze surfaces, in addition to repairing the cap and newel posts, and rewiring the lampposts.

Treatment of the bronze elements included removing them from the site, cleaning existing corrosion, patination, and application of a protective lacquer coating. Minor repairs included filling of cracks with bronze-bulked epoxy and filling of holes with threaded bronze rod. The bronze was patinated to match the reddish-brown patina seen on other bronze elements throughout the Capital grounds. After treatment, all elements were reinstalled in their original locations. Our conservators provided detailed documentation of all conservation processes as well as maintenance recommendations.