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In the late 19th century the architectural style of the Thomas Jefferson Building was said to be "Italian Renaissance." Today, it is recognized as a premier example of the Beaux Arts style, which is theatrical, heavily ornamented and kinetic. It is a style perfectly suited to a young, wealthy, and imperialistic nation in its Gilded Age.
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Behind the Scrim: An Inside Look at the Supreme Court Restoration

The scaffold for the Supreme Court's restoration is wrapped in a scrim enclosure printed with a full-size photograph of the building’s façade.
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Beginning May 2012 the U.S. Supreme Court Building's West Front Façade began a complete restoration to address deterioration due to age, weather and nature. Take a close-up look at the work underway.

Scaffolding was installed during the summer of 2012 across the entire west elevation of the Supreme Court.
Scaffolding was installed during the summer of 2012 across the entire west elevation of the Supreme Court.

 

Workers repair the mortar joints between the marble on the façade.
Workers repair the mortar joints between the marble on the façade.

 

Workers prepare the buildng's marble for laser cleaning; removing heavy deposits of surface soil and adhesives.
Workers prepare the buildng's marble for laser cleaning; removing heavy deposits of surface soil and adhesives.

 

Laser cleaning of the marble – a technology similar to that used cosmetically for skin – removes soiling without touching the fagile stone.
Laser cleaning of the marble – a technology similar to that used cosmetically for skin – removes soiling without touching the fagile stone. 

Updates on details of this project.

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