Friday, December 5, 2014

The Dome in Darkness

Driving in this morning, dark skies, rain on my windshield, I waited, as I always do, for that first glimpse of the city. It's a low city, D.C., but there is a spot on the Roosevelt Bridge where you can see both the Washington Monument and the Capitol dome.

The Monument, earthquake repairs complete, stands in all its unsheathed glory. Now it's the Capitol dome's turn for repairs. It's been more than 50 years since the last major work was done, and the dome needs cast iron filler, new windows and paint. Without them, the dome — and even artwork in the rotunda — will be in danger.

I'd dreaded the project, worried about how it would spoil the view of the Capitol. But what a picture it makes at night. The dome glows within its cage, giving the scaffolding an airy, ethereal feel and amplifying the impression the dome always gives, which is that it floats above the rest of the city.

The only difference is that now it looks a bit fuzzy around the edges. The scaffolding — and the darkness — make their own artistic statements.

(Photo: Courtesy Architect of the Capitol.)


blogger counters