JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The State of Missouri will auction off former pieces of stone that made up the Capitol in order to raise money for restoration projects inside the statehouse.
Later this week, less than two miles from the Missouri Capitol, the Missouri State Capitol Commission is inviting Missourians from near and far to bid on pieces of limestone that once was the facade of the century-old building. These pieces were replaced during the three-year restoration project and are now looking for a new home.
“Some of the pieces that are being auctioned are very delicately crafted by stonemasons, and they are one of a kind, very unique,” Dana Rademan Miller, Chief Clerk of the Missouri House of Representatives and member of the Capitol Commission said Tuesday.
The stone, Burlington Limestone, includes bases of columns, decorative pieces, and pavers all made in a quarry in southwest Missouri.
“When you’re standing at the base of the Capitol, you don’t notice that all of these small elements add up to what you see when you drive up,” Rademan Miller said.
Those traveling to or through Jefferson City from 2018 to 2021 might remember the Capitol was covered in scaffolding. It was the largest renovation; known as the State Capitol Exterior Stone Repair project, the building has ever been under, roughly costing $55 million.
“What happens over years is water, air, we have a freeze and thaw cycle that occurs and sometimes just with time, those stones have deteriorated,” Rademan Miller said.
She said only 5% of the stone that covers the entire building had to be replaced, but now those thousands of pieces need a new place to lay.
“When I look at some of these decorative pieces, and not just the decorative ones, but some of the cornices and the coping that are carved, these are artisans,” Rademan Miller said. “They were Missouri workers. If you think, 115 years ago when they were working on these places, the technology has changed, the industry has changed.”
The money raised will go back to the commission for renovations inside of the Capitol.
“The largest project would be making the building accessible, remediating some of the environmental issues, expanding that building to 21st-century use,” Rademan Miller said. “That is an eight- to nine-year project.
This stone from Carthage, Missouri near Joplin could be another Missourians’ treasure.
“They are solid, and they are limestone,” Rademan Miller said about the large pavers. “They are not composite. They are limestone that has been quarried and fabricated.
Besides one medallion that the commission donated to the Missouri State Museum for historical purposes, the state has not claimed any of the stones.
“Basically, what is here has been recreated and reinstalled in the building,” Rademan Miller said while walking around the lot.
The auction starts at 10 a.m. Friday, June 3, but attendees are welcome to come earlier to check out the pieces. The lot is located at 1636 Industrial Drive, about a mile and a half west of the Capitol. Those who purchase the stone are required to haul it away, but there will be people there from the commission and the Office of Administration to help you load it.
“It’s just a really neat thought about owning a piece of Missouri history and our Capitol, plus the proceeds are just going to do good things for us in our efforts to protect and preserve the Capitol,” Rademan Miller said.
Most of the material auctioned off will be large paver stones, ranging in sizes from 24″x 24″ X 2″ to 36″ x 36″ x 2″ with a variety of different cut stones. The stone has been palletized in lots and will be auctioned off by the lot. If the highest bidder does not take all the pieces in the lot, the remaining stone will be auctioned off.
For more information on the Capitol Commission or the auction, click here to visit their website.