West Virginia State Capitol?
I'm a W.V. native and have always wondered how much it costs tax payers to fund the gold leafing that covers the Capitol's Dome in W.V. I know its real 14K gold leafing that covers the entire dome.
As fond as I am of its appearance I always wondered if the money could be better spent on other projects such as tourism, or educational purposes.
The Capitol was re leafed in the past 10 years though. So that doesn't really apply to the 1930s.
- 1 decade agoFavorite Answer
I would look at this a couple of different ways. First, the state capital building is were the government of West Virginia lives. That building belongs to all of the citizens of the state. Wouldn't you want your house to look its best?
If you paid somebody to go scrape all of the gold off of the dome so you could sell the gold you would have to replace it with something. One has to have a roof for your house after all. An architect has to be hired to supervise the whole enterprise and a commission has to be appointed to supervise the architect. Plans have to drawn up and environmental impact reports have to be generated. So then after paying for all of that you would have to spend another good chunk of the money you got from selling the gold buying new material to make the new roof from. You probably would have to pay a company to specially manufacture the new roofing material as Home Depot doesn't normally carry dome roofs. Then you would have to hire a company that knew how to put roofs on domes. There aren't many of them these days and one would imagine those who can won't come cheap. By the time everything is done there won't be much money left from selling the gold if any money is left at all. That's the way government projects are in America today.
The second thing to consider is the dome was made in the early 1930s. In that time period governments didn't do all of the things governments of today do. There were really no social programs to speak of. All a state government really did at that time is provide for law enforcement and the courts, build and maintain the main roads of the state, run the state prison system, and other miscellaneous things. People of that time had a completely different expectation of what a government was supposed to do and how it was supposed to serve its citizens.
- Steven CLv 71 decade ago