Board of Public Works approves contract to restore Maryland State House dome

The Board of Public Works approved a construction contract to restore the Maryland State House exterior on Wednesday. In recent years, paint on the iconic State House dome has become chipped and stained. (Maryland Matters/Danielle E. Gaines)

This content was republished with permission from WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

Maryland’s historic State House dome will soon get a facelift.

Maryland Board of Public Works signed off on a $1.5 million contract to revamp the façade of the State House on Wednesday — the first step in an extensive $34 million restoration project.

“By moving forward with this major restoration of the State House exterior and grounds, Marylanders can be reassured that this national treasure will continue to stand strong for generations to come,” Gov. Lawrence J. Hogan Jr. (R) said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

The contract — awarded to the Christman Company out of Sterling, Va. — received unanimous approval from Hogan, State Treasurer Dereck E. Davis (D) and Comptroller Peter V.R. Franchot (D).

The Christman Company previously restored the State House’s Old House of Delegates Chamber and Old Senate Chamber.

Maryland’s State House is the oldest state capitol building still in legislative use. The two-and-a-half-year contract will initially prioritize the restoration of its dome.

“The State House Dome is a captivating part of this grand building dating back to 1772, making the dome and the State House national treasures,” Hogan said.

In recent years, white paint from the dome has been visibly chipped and stained.

Last November, Mesick Cohen Wilson Baker Architects out of New York was awarded a contract to investigate the condition of the State House dome by sampling its paint, analyzing construction materials and identifying historic fabrics.

The investigation was completed in early December. The Department of General Services and the Maryland Historical Trust are studying the results of the investigation and will define the scope of restorative work to be completed.

“As the stewards of the State House and state-owned buildings, we have an abundance of appreciation for our historic state capitol,” Ellington E. Churchill, the secretary of the Department of General Services, said in a statement Wednesday. “And as the lead agency for state building construction, we know the importance of delivering a quality project for the citizens of Maryland.”

In addition to the dome, the Christman Company will maintain and restore the State House’s exterior stone and brick masonry, doors, windows and artistic embellishments, as well as the brick masonry on State Circle’s retaining wall and its irrigation system, ramps, walkways, railings and landscaping.

The contract also calls for the contractor to stabilize and potentially restore Maryland’s Old Treasury building for future use.

The Old Treasury building was constructed between 1735 and 1736, making it Maryland’s oldest public building.

“This project not only helps preserve over 270 years of history, but will continue to allow Marylanders and visitors to learn about the history of the country and great State of Maryland,” Churchill said.

This article was written by WTOP’s news partners at Maryland Matters and republished with permission. Sign up for Maryland Matters’ free email subscription today.

More from WTOP

Log in to your WTOP account for notifications and alerts customized for you.

Sign up