Restoration of the stained glass windows continued last week with the removal of the barrel vault stained glass panels over the grand staircase.
Select this link for more details regarding the stained glass restoration on South Dakota's Capitol:
Lots of media attention!:
From the front page of the Pierre Capital Journal: http://www.capjournal.com/news/capitol-stained-glass-restoration-begins-second-phase-of-projectcapitol-stained/article_eafb487e-afef-11e3-a4f9-001a4bcf887a.html
The AP moved this story version for print, as shown in the Sioux Falls Argus Leader: http://www.argusleader.com/viewart/20140319/NEWS/303190059/S-D-Capitol-glass-repairs-track-fascinating-
The AP moved this story version for broadcast, as
shown at the Sioux Falls CBS affiliate KELO: http://www.keloland.com/newsdetail.cfm/sd-capitol-glass-repairs-on-track-fascinating/?id=161777
Pierre’s KCCR radio has a few stories over the last couple of days on their news page: http://todayskccr.com/index.asp?folderID=22
KGFX ran this story with audio and video: http://mdn.dakotaradiogroup.com/MDNThursdayMarch_20.htm
Check out this new article about the beginning of phase 2... the removal of the glass in the barrel ceiling!
The link to the article is here and the text and images are below:
Capitol stained glass restoration begins second phase of project
As the Legislature winds up it session, a different kind of work has begun in the halls of the Capitol building – not to improve the state, but to restore the shine and prestige of the century-plus-old statehouse.
Crews from Conrad Schmitt Studios Inc. in Milwaukee began removing individual panels from the barrel vault skylight above the building’s grand staircase this week to start a months-long restoration process. The actual work to take down the stained glass started Tuesday and by mid-afternoon Wednesday, 60 out of the 90 panels in the skylight had been removed.
Mike Mueller, state special projects curator, said the remaining 30 panels along the bottom of the barrel vault will be cleaned and inspected, but not removed. Because they are not curved and have a more standard grid structure, those panels have aged much better that the rest, he said.
The work on the barrel vault is the second phase in a $2.7 million restoration project focusing on the Capitol’s stained glass. The 64 panels in the building’s rotunda were removed in August and the large panels over the Senate and House chambers will be removed next month.
After being restored and repaired, the panels will be replaced starting in June and culminating in time for the state’s 125th anniversary in November.
The work is being conducted after an assessment last summer showed most of the panels were in poor condition. Most had considerable warping or slu
mping, with signs of a few inadequate repairs having being conducted since they were installed in 1909. Many panels didn’t have frames and were resting directly on plaster. There is even evidence that the panels above the senate and house were installed upside down.
Kevin Grabowski, national projects director for Conrad Schmitt, said the smaller size of the barrel vault panels and their being curved across only one plane makes this part of the restoration the easiest out of the project’s four phases.
The barrel vault panels are 32 by 43 inches and weigh roughly 20 pounds. The panels in the rotunda and Senate and House chambers are much larger and heavier, and the glass in the rotunda is curved both horizontally and vertically, he said.
The removal of the barrel vault panels has gone quickly, without surprises or incident. Grabowski said that can be credited to the detailed work that was done before the panes left their resting places.
“Much of the removal process had been done before today,” he said.
The panels will be shipped to Conrad Schmitt’s studios on Friday to join the other stained glass from the Capitol that is currently being worked on.
Out of the 64 panels from the Capitol’s rotunda, 36 have been completely restored and are only waiting to be fitted into custom steel frames, Grabowski said. The remaining panels are in various phases of restoration.
Grabowski said the work in the studio is exceeding expectations, and the restored rotunda panels are much stronger than before, even without the steel frames. They have also returned to their former luster.
“Even someone who is not an expert can look at the before and after photos and say ‘wow,’” he said.
Barbara Johnson, who has studied stained glass over the past five years with a grant from the South Dakota Humanities Council, was on hand as part of her study into the original makers of the glass.
Johnson has been hunting for the original manufacturer since last summer, but so far has not found any hard evidence of who created the panels. She is hoping that among the soda cans and candy wrappers that make up the debris around the top side of the panels, there may be some older clues from the time the glass was installed.
As the project begins, we set scaffold in a small area and paint typical elements as shown in the approved rendering. This gives our craftsman and our clients a chance to review colors and design choices to make sure any needed adjustments are made before the entire scaffolding system is in place.
Restoring St. Ann Catholic Church in Monterey, Indiana
Final designs have been approved for the impending restoration of St. Ann Catholic Church in Monterey, IN.
The interior will be decorated using faux painting, gilding, glazing and gold leafing to bring out the beautiful architecture that exists.
Stay tuned for progress photos as the project unfolds!
The existing interior above, and the Artistic rending concept for the restoration below!
Can't get enough of the South Dakota Capitol dome restoration updates? A new article released by Dakota Radio Group features some great audio clips! The text of the article is included here, but click on the headline below to hear the clips in the original.
PIERRE, S.D. – (DRG News) Work is progressing on a restoration project involving stained glass from the rotunda of the South Dakota Capitol Building. The stained glass panels were removed from inside the Capitol dome last August and are being cleaned and restored at the Conrad Schmitt Studios near Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Mike Mueller of the Bureau of Administration says he had a chance to see the restoration work on the glass pieces during a visit to Wisconsin last month. He says the cleaning that was done on the glass made a big difference in how the pieces look.
Mueller says the project has involved making rubbings of the stained glass panels to create a “map” of each one. The panels were then disassembled, and lead and putty were removed. Mueller says the stained glass pieces were then placed on a light table, which reveals cracks and breaks; and those flaws have been cataloged and repairs are being done. Workers also identified replacement glass pieces that have been put into the panels since they were new more than 100 years ago. The final step in the restoration project involves reassembling each panel. Mueller says the rotunda panels aren’t flat, so Conrad Schmitt Studios has had to create custom built benches matching the curvature of the dome so that the panels fit the way they were supposed to when they were installed.
Mueller says the project to restore stained glass panels throughout the Capitol is still on track as planned, with work on panels from the rotunda, the barrel vault above the grand staircase and in the House and Senate chambers to be completed before November-when the state officially celebrates 125 years of statehood.
South Dakota State Capitol restoration progress...
The custom concave and convex forms have been fabricated, allowing us to begin re-assembling the panels that make up the Rotunda Dome!
Typical stained glass panels are flat - They can be restored on standard benches and do not require any special forms. The windows that make up the dome in the South Dakota State Capitol restoration are NOT typical panels!