Crews completing South Capitol stained glass restoration; work to be finished next week

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PIERRE, South Dakota — The last of the stained glass windows in a $3 million restoration project at the South Dakota Capitol are being replaced.

The project is expected to be finished next week, the Capital Journal reported (http://bit.ly/1qUcfxK ).

The project was started after an assessment found problems caused by age, gravity, original material and design weakness in the stained glass installed in 1909.

The stained glass in the dome, the barrel vault above the grand staircase, and above the House and Senate chambers was removed earlier this year and sent to Conrad Schmitt Studios in Wisconsin to be cleaned, fixed and refurbished.

Mike Mueller, the state's special projects curator, said there were 14,816 individual pieces of glass in the rotunda alone.

Kevin Grabowski of Conrad Schmitt Studios said the project is complicated because the stained glass is high above the floor and in poor condition.

Officials said the stained glass is now cleaner, brighter and safer.

Grabowski said the glass in the Senate and House chambers was installed upside down.

"By putting them in upside down, the workers guaranteed the failure of the panels," he said.

Grabowski said part of the restoration involved reinforcing the lead that holds the glass together.


Information from: Pierre Capital Journal, http://www.capjournal.com

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