09/22/2011 02:35 pm ET | Updated Nov 22, 2011

Colorado's Capitol Is Getting Its Dome Outfitted With In-State Mined Gold (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

The dome on Colorado's capitol building is set to get a 24-karat makeover.

Cripple Creek and Victory Gold Mining Company has liquified 24-karat gold to be sent to a gold leaf manufacturer and maintain the dome's lustre. Colorado's state architect told the Associated Press that water had damaged the underlying panels of cast-iron that had been leafed over in gold.

The dome repair will outfit the Capitol in pure Colorado gold applied to panels of copper, that have gilded the dome since the capitol was built in 1908 and harkens back to the state's infamous Gold Rush years. Estimates for the project indicate that the price tag could exceed $12 million, for which the state is seeking donations.

AngloGold Ashanti (Colorado) Corp.--the company that owns Cripple Creek and Victory Gold Mining Co.--pledged to donate 72 troy ounces of the 24-karat gold which was given to Gov. John Hickenlooper this morning in the form of a gold dore ingot or "button" weighing 68 pounds. Yet copper will most likely be the priciest part of the repair project, Executive Director of the nonprofit Colorado Preservation Inc. Jim Hare told the Denver Post last week.

Colorado Preservation Inc. is leading the fundraising campaign, partnered with the private Share in the Care Campaign. Share in the Care Colorado also seeks repair inside the Capitol where it's Facebook page says:

The cast iron enclosure of the dome and drum, painted gray to match granite used elsewhere in the structure, has deteriorated over the past hundred years due to water infiltration and the intense freeze-thaw cycle of the Colorado climate. The observation deck, the unforgettable field trip destination for generations of Colorado's school children, has been closed to them, as well as to all visitors, since 2007 due to the danger of the falling cast iron. Engineering experts have declared the deteriorated condition of the dome to be a significant hazard to the building and its occupants, concluding, "the entire dome will require extensive work to repair current damage and preserve the feature for future generations.

The dome project is set to be complete in 2014.


Colorado Capitol's Gold Dome