Letter from Sharon Chickering Moller
Colorado Capitol – November 2005 – Colorado Central Magazine
I hate to quibble, but I wanted to correct a statement in your review of The Colorado State Capitol in the October issue. Your second sentence says: “The dome was the only thing that distinguished our capitol, since our dome, unlike any other, is covered with gold (42 ounces to be precise).”
My home state is Vermont and it also has a gold dome on the capitol building in Montpelier. To verify that I had remembered it correctly, I went to the state’s web site (www.leg.state.vt.us/sthouse/walkthru.htm) and found that: “The dome is 57 feet high and is made of wood sheathed in copper and covered with 23.7-carat gold leaf, as pure as can be obtained.”
Thanks for letting me put the record straight.
Sharon Chickering Moller
Ed admits that this was not an error derived from the book he was reviewing, but from repeated assertions he heard as a Colorado schoolboy. And that obviously begs the question: Are there any other gold capitol domes out there?
Yes, there are many: Georgia, Iowa, Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Vermont, West Virginia, and Wyoming all have domes gilded in genuine gold. New Hampshire and Nebraska also have gold domes, but their websites don’t make it clear whether they’re plated or merely painted (and there may be others).
Clearly, Colorado isn’t unique in having a gold dome; nor is it unique in perpetuating dome lore. Teachers, tour guides and pamphlets in Nevada often claim that the state originally boasted a genuine silver dome – but state construction archives recorded it as tin.
Our apologies for the error,
(And Sharon, thanks for the tip.)