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Refurbished Capitol Dome Unveiled in Washington

A three-year repair project fixed cracks, leaks and corrosion in the cast-iron dome of the U.S. Capitol.

A copper-covered wood dome sits on top of the U.S. Capitol in Washington, circa 1846.

The dome was installed during restoration of the Capitol after the British burned the building in 1814. The dome pictured was replaced by the current cast-iron dome. 

John Plumbe Jr. / AP

The U. S. Capitol dome under construction in 1864.

Library of Congress / Corbis/VCG via Getty Images

The Capitol Dome is nearly obscured by scaffolding on Oct. 24, 2014.

The 29-story, 9-million pound dome, had become badly corroded since it was last restored during the Eisenhower administration. Some 52 miles of pipe were used to erect scaffolding that enveloped the dome for two years. Workers repaired 1,300 cracks and fixed or replaced scores of cast-iron ornaments and windows. 

J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Construction manager Shane Gallagher leads members of the media on a tour of the rebuilt cast-iron dome of the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 15. The restoration of the dome was formally completed on Tuesday with weeks to spare before the inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump. 

CARLOS BARRIA / Reuters

The rebuilt dome of the U.S. Capitol is seen from the rotunda floor during a media tour on Nov. 15. 

CARLOS BARRIA / Reuters

Gallagher stands under the fresco, "The Apotheosis of Washington," as he leads members of the media on a tour of the dome.

Painted in 1865 by Constantino Brumidi, the fresco depicts George Washington rising to the heavens in glory

CARLOS BARRIA / Reuters

The National Mall and the Washington Monument are seen from the Capitol dome on Nov. 15. 

CARLOS BARRIA / Reuters

Interior supports sit between the newly-restored exterior Capitol dome and the interior dome. 

SAUL LOEB / AFP - Getty Images

Visitors gather on the rotunda floor under the dome on Nov. 15. 

CARLOS BARRIA / Reuters

The sun rises behind the U.S. Capitol in Washington on Nov. 17. 

The restored dome has been coated by more than 1,200 gallons of paint.

Mark Wilson / Getty Images