Statue of Freedom Restoration

Freedom statue surrounded by scaffolding in 2007
Scaffolding around the Statue of Freedom during its 2007 conservation.

Work is being performed to conserve one of the Capitol’s most treasured works – The Statue of Freedom.

The Statue of Freedom has stood atop the Capitol Dome since 1863, but visitors to Capitol Hill will notice something different about the nearly 20-foot tall, seven and a half ton figure as the Architect of the Capitol erects scaffolding to perform the statue’s regular cleaning and restoration.

“Our mission is to protect and preserve the awe inspiring facilities and artwork entrusted to our care, and the Statue of Freedom is one of the most visible, symbolic and treasured pieces of art in the Capitol collection,” Architect of the Capitol Steven T. Ayers, FAIA, LEED AP said. “We’re going to make sure she continues to inspire all who see her for generations to come by undertaking this important restoration work.”

The Statue of Freedom, whose crest reaches 288 feet above the Capitol’s East Front, will have her lightning points sharpened and receive repairs as necessary, along with a fresh application of her protective coating. The last time she received this treatment was 2007.

To minimize the work’s impact on Congressional operations, the statue restoration and maintenance is being performed at the same time as the ongoing Dome skirt restoration project. Visitors are still permitted to tour the Capitol but, for safety reasons, tours of the Capitol Dome will be suspended until work on the statue is completed.