The state Capitol in Frankfort has been the seat of state government since it was dedicated on June 2, 1910, after six years of construction at a cost of $1.8 million. Pamela Trautner, public affairs officer with the Kentucky Finance and Administration Cabinet, said it has been more than 50 years since any sort of thorough cleaning on the façade has been done. There is a granite base for the first 4 or 5 feet, and the rest of the building is limestone. Most of the work being done is cleaning off the biological growth and repointing any areas where mortar has eroded. A laboratory analysis of the original mortar provides the formula for any new mortar that is used. Modern sealants are used in some areas to allow for the expansion and contraction of materials. K. Norman Berry Architects from Louisville have specified the cleaning and restoration criteria.
A crew of about 16 people is working on cleaning and restoration. All of them have been trained in the appropriate techniques for cleaning historical masonry buildings. Some are specialist in the application of repair mortars and sealants. A separate crew of six erected the scaffolding.
The project, which will cost slightly more $1.1 million, is expected to be completed sometime in February.