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Gold bar
January 31, 2003

Private gifts put gild on restoration

Beardshear dome
Beardshear skylight
Beardshear rotunda
by Diana Pounds
On your next walk through Beardshear Hall, look up. What you'll see -- a gilded dome and rotunda, freshly painted in chocolate browns, soft yellows and ivory -- hasn't been seen in nearly a hundred years.

As part of the finishing touch on Beardshear renovations, the interior of the dome and rotunda have been restored to the original 1906 look.

The dome restoration was made possible by two private gifts that funded all of the gold leaf used in the gilding as well as other parts of the restoration. Donors are ISU vice president Warren Madden and career services director Beverly Madden, and former ISU vice president George Christensen.

Staff from Evergreene Painting Studios, a New York-based restoration firm, used old photographs and high-tech science to sift through a century's worth of old paint layers and arrive at the dome's original color schemes.

The restored Beardshear dome will look just like the old with one exception. A round stained glass window will be installed above the oculus (opening at the top of the dome).

The oculus window will complement two large stained glass windows that have been installed in the third-floor ceiling in another component of the Bearshear restoration. Part of the original building, the stained glass was removed in the '60s due to damage. The new stained glass was patterned after the original glass.

Lead glass artist Marty Gund will discuss the process of reconstructing the skylights and oculus during a talk at 2 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 9, in the Brunnier Art Museum.

Lighting also is being added to the Beardshear rotunda to highlight the columns and dome. "The up-lighting in the atrium will make the dome spectacular," Warren Madden said.

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Published by: University Relations,
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