Official painted portrait of 11th Architect of the Capitol Stephen T. Ayers.
Under Mr. Ayers' leadership, the Architect of the Capitol oversaw the...
James Madison Memorial Building
A look back at the founding of the James Madison Memorial Building.

Supreme Court Façade Restoration - North, South and East

Supreme Court Façade Restoration - North, South and East

This restoration project entailed cleaning, repairing and restoring the Vermont marble of the cheek walls on either side of west steps, and the north, south and east façades of the Supreme Court Building. The stone was cleaned to remove general soil, black gypsum crusts, biological deposits and copper stains. The mortar and sealants in the joints of the marble were replaced and the non-functional bird deterrent system was replaced.

General cleaning used low-pressure water and environmentally friendly cleaners to remove surface dirt. Copper stains were removed with a poultice that pulls the stains out of the stone, similar to a mud mask. The heavy soil and gypsum deposits at the carved stone and the east pediment sculpture were cleaned with laser technology. The laser removed the surface soil without impacting the deteriorated and fragile stone. The cornice level lion heads, east portico column/pilaster capitals and the sculpture also received a special conservation treatment, called consolidation, to slow the deterioration of the stone and loss of detail. Stone that had cracked was re-anchored and new stone was carved to replace elements that had deteriorated to the point of failure.

The bronze grilles and railings were cleaned of corrosion and refinished with a protective surface coating applied.

This project was completed in 2018.

Supreme Court
Supreme Court Building
Supreme Court
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