...Society, stored by the state and then placed back in the Capitol after the project’s completion.
The elaborate effort finished on schedule and under budget.
“Some of the most significant upgrades in the building are hidden behind the walls, ceilings and floors, but everyone who visits will be impressed with the stately and grand appearance of the public areas,” says Andrew Erstad, Capitol Commission chairperson.
The 50,000-sq-ft underground garden level expansion adds 10 modern committee hearing rooms that seat between 80 and 200.
Jan Frew, Capitol restoration executive project manager, says one of the most fulfilling aspects of the job was being able to bring the building back to its original grandeur.
“One of our goals was to bring save the old building’s classic look by bringing in new material,” he says. “We had to find marble that was a good match and a complement to the existing material because original sources are no longer there. Then we had to find the craftsmen to work on the specialty plaster and the scagliola columns.”
Frew adds that she may be most proud of the underground garden level.
“The entire lower level of the Capitol has been transformed from an ugly, dark basement area to something that has plenty of light and beautiful finishings, and it will be used as an educational center for Idaho children,” she says.