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Oct 31, 2013

Close Up Photo of Stained Glass from Capitol Rotunda August 19, 2013 (KGFX Photo)October 31, 2013

By: Jeri Thomas (

UNDATED - (DRG News) Some of the stained glass sections from the rotunda dome of the South Dakota State Capitol are in now the process of being cleaned and restored.  A previous assessment done on the glass throughout the Capitol found that age, gravity and design weaknesses had taken their toll since the glass was installed in 1909.  The stained glass panels were taken from inside the upper reaches of the Capitol dome in August and are now being restored by Conrad Schmitt Studios just outside of Milwaukee, Wisconsin.   Kevin Grabowski, the company's project director, says workers have been busy the past few months doing documentation on the pieces, like making "rubbings" of each panel, mapping the lines of lead that connect the glass pieces and taking photos and notes.

Now he says they are starting to disassemble some of the dome panels.


Grabowski says it takes time to separate the pieces of glass, clean them and relead the panels-but efforts are being made to make sure the glasswork retains the same look it had when it was first installed in the Capitol more than 100 years ago.


Grabowski says they are still a few months away from reassembling the panels.  The cleaned and renovated dome panels will be returned to the Capitol in June of next year.  Stained glass in the House and Senate chambers will be taken out after the 2014 Legislative Session and glass from the barrel vault above the grand marble staircase will be removed in May of next year.  The goal is to finish the Capitol stained glass restoration work in time for South Dakota's 125th anniversary of statehood on November 2, 2014.  (View the progress of the glass restoration at


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