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State Capitol’s $15M Rennovation Includes Some Restoration

By Erik Schelzig, Associated Press
NASHVILLE, Tenn. — Renovations at the state Capitol are giving workers the chance to restore some of the original features of the 150-year-old building including arched ceilings and other detail work.
Peter Heimbach Jr. of the state Department of General Services told reporters during a tour Monday that while mechanical upgrades are the main object of the overhaul, the state will also have a chance to restore vaulted ceilings and to seal doors that weren’t original to the building.
“We’d like to preserve some of the history of the Capitol and its construction,” he said.
Tearing out drop ceilings on the ground level and in legislative staff offices revealed arched ceilings original to the building. Demolition work on the men’s’ bathroom on the first floor revealed the outline of a former staircase and faux detail work that had been painted on the wall.
The discoveries in the old stairwell will be covered up again as the bathroom will need to be replaced, but the exposed arches on the ground floor will remain open, including in a former vending and break area that will become a conference room.
“This type of construction really hasn’t changed much since the Romans did it,” Heimbach said. “There’ s a lot of cathedrals in Europe that have this exact type of construction.”

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