Turns out things on the outside of the Capitol are also fractured and in urgent need of repair. The historic dome will be covered in scaffolding starting next month for a two-year, $60 million restoration project, reports the Washington Post. The office of the Architect of the Capitol says more than 1,000 cracks and other flaws have appeared since the last full restoration in 1960, and this "critical work" is now essential to "save the dome."
"The dome is 150 years old, and it’s an important, iconic image of democracy across the world," a spokesman for the architect says. "This is to preserve it so we can have it for another 150 years." Most of the work will be done on evenings and weekends to minimize disruption for visitors, members of Congress, and other workers, who will be protected by a doughnut-shaped canopy inside during the renovation. (Read more U.S. Capitol stories.)