Rotunda Restoration begins at the Science Museum of Virginia


science museumThe Science Museum of Virginia begins restoration on the Rotunda dome this week as the building nears its 100 year anniversary. Designed by renowned architect John Russell Pope in 1917, this timeless monument that once served as a train station has been home to the Museum of over 35 years.

In December, the Museum brought in conservator and historic paint analyst, Susan L. Buck, Ph.D., to analyze and identify the original paint color of the Rotunda’s interior dome ceiling and the adjacent decorative masonry. Using cross-section microscopy and pigment analysis techniques, Dr. Buck’s research revealed the original color of the ceiling was a grayish-blue hue. Six stories of scaffolding will be erected inside of the Rotunda to conduct repairs, resurface and paint the ceiling over the next several weeks.

“Since opening its doors, millions of people have visited this beloved building,” says Richard Conti, Chief Wonder Officer, Science Museum of Virginia. “We take our stewardship of this historic community resource seriously, so that future generations can admire the incredible architecture and celebrate the wonders of science.”

The Rotunda restoration is part of the Museum’s Inspire the WorldCampaign, which is transforming the Science Museum of Virginia’s galleries and programs.



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