Boston, Massachusetts – State House Golden Dome

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Boston, Massachusetts - State House Golden Dome

From mass.gov :-

For generations, Bostonians have used the dome of the State House to find their way to Beacon Hill, to symbolize their city, and to mark the center of the "Hub of the Solar System." But the shining landmark we love today hasn’t always gleamed with gold. In fact, it started out as a leaky wooden roof.
When up-and-coming Boston architect Charles Bulfinch took on the job of planning the State House, it was his first paid commission. He based his design on neoclassical elements: columns, a pediment, and a vast shingled dome intended to make the structure stand out among its squat, square neighbors. When construction was finished in 1798, the State House was the most architecturally important public building in the young country, the first answer to the question of what an American government building should look like. Boston’s grandest building, perched atop its highest hill, became an instant monument.

Unfortunately, Bulfinch’s grand achievement couldn’t quite stand up to New England weather. The impressive 30-foot-high dome began to leak almost immediately. After just 4 years, enough rain and snow had seeped in that the wooden shingles were beginning to rot here and there. A hero of the Revolution was called in to save the day. Paul Revere’s foundry was hired to make the dome watertight by sheathing it with a thick layer of copper (thus creating what may be the world’s largest piece of Revereware).

The new copper top was painted the dark grey of lead at first. Soon after — although no one is sure exactly when — the dome became "golden" for the first time. Boston guidebooks from the 1820s refer to the dome as yellow or bronze; we know those accounts are accurate, because during the most recent State House renovation, contractors who peeled away old paint on the dome discovered multiple coats of pale yellow paint. In 1831, though, the dome returned to its earlier leaden grey, and it remained that color for more than 40 years.

The person most responsible for the State House dome as we know it today is Nathaniel P. Banks, Governor of Massachusetts from 1858 to 1861. Banks dreamed of making the State House a magnificent landmark, something befitting the old description of Boston as "a shining city on a hill." He spoke about it often during his term as governor — persuasively, as it turned out, although the Civil War intervened. In 1874, the dome was gilded for the first time with 23.5 karat gold leaf.

In the nearly 130 years since then, the State House’s golden dome has dimmed only once: during World War II, when it was painted a dull grey to hide the glimmer of gold from any enemy ships in Boston Harbor that might have wanted to use it to aim their weapons. It was regilded in 1947 and has been the jewel of Boston’s skyline ever since.

How Do They Do That?
To keep its characteristic brilliance, the State House dome … Read More

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Empire State – New York City

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Empire State -  New York City

The Empire State Building is a 102-story skyscraper located in Midtown Manhattan, New York City, on Fifth Avenue between West 33rd and 34th Streets. It has a roof height of 1,250 feet (380 m), and with its antenna spire included, it stands a total of 1,454 feet (443 m) high. Its name is derived from the nickname for New York, the Empire State. It stood as the world’s tallest building for nearly 40 years, from its completion in early 1931 until the topping out of the original World Trade Center’s North Tower in late 1970. Following the September 11 attacks in 2001, the Empire State Building was again the tallest building in New York (although it was no longer the tallest in the US or the world), until One World Trade Center reached a greater height on April 30, 2012. The Empire State Building is currently the fourth-tallest completed skyscraper in the United States (after the One World Trade Center, the Willis Tower and Trump International Hotel and Tower, both in Chicago), and the 25th-tallest in the world (the tallest now is Burj Khalifa, located in Dubai). It is also the fifth-tallest freestanding structure in the Americas.

The Empire State Building is generally thought of as an American cultural icon. It is designed in the distinctive Art Deco style and has been named as one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World by the American Society of Civil Engineers. The building and its street floor interior are designated landmarks of the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission, and confirmed by the New York City Board of Estimate. It was designated as a National Historic Landmark in 1986. In 2007, it was ranked number one on the AIA’s List of America’s Favorite Architecture.

The building is owned by the Empire State Realty Trust, of which Anthony Malkin serves as Chairman, CEO and President.[17] In 2010, the Empire State Building underwent a $550 million renovation, with $120 million spent to transform the building into a more energy efficient and eco-friendly structure.[18] The Empire State Building is the tallest Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified building in the United States, having received a gold LEED rating in September 2011.

History
The site of the Empire State Building was first developed as the John Thompson Farm in the late 18th century. At the time, a stream ran across the site, emptying into Sunfish Pond, located a block away. Beginning in the late 19th century, the block was occupied by the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, frequented by The Four Hundred, the social elite of New York.

The limestone for the Empire State Building came from the Empire Mill in Sanders, Indiana which is an unincorporated town adjacent to Bloomington, Indiana. The Empire Mill Land office is near State Road 37 and Old State Road 37 just south of Bloomington. Bloomington, Bedford and Oolitic area are known locally as the limestone capital of the world

Design and construction:
The Empire State Building was designed by William … Read More

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