Chandelier restored in State Capitol - KTTC Rochester, Austin, Mason City News, Weather and Sports

Chandelier restored in State Capitol

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ST. PAUL, Minn. (KTTC) --  Maybe you've driven by the State Capitol in the past year or two, and noticed that there has been scaffolding up.

While the dome was being restored, the 108-year-old chandelier in the Capitol rotunda was taken down to be cleaned. And Thursday it was lifted back into its original position and lit.

But the view of the fixture is one that's only been seen five times before.

"It was really an awesome sight. Minnesotans should really be proud," said State Rep. Tina Liebling.

For two years the chandelier sat in a plywood box outside the office of State Sen. Carla Nelson.

At it's lowered height, you can see the chandelier's size. It measures six feet across, more than 19 feet around and is made with 48,000 crystal beads.

It's hung from a chain with links two feet long, and it weighs in at one ton.

The chandelier originally cost $1,250 back around the turn of the century.

But what everyone was waiting for was the moment when they flipped a switch and 92 light bulbs came to life.

State Sen. Nelson is on the Capitol Restoration Commission, and as she watched the chandelier ascend, she noticed something different about the crowd that filled the Capitol.

"Many times during the session the Capitol is filled with people with all different viewpoints and we loved that too," Nelson said.

But Thursday it seemed that not only did people from both sides of the aisle agree on one thing, they also agreed it needs to stay that way.

"It's really one of the most beautiful...if not the most beautiful state capitols in the country," Liebling said. "We have this jewel and it's really up to us to protect it and make sure it's here for generations to come."

"It is very much the most beautiful capitol in the nation and it's critical that we retain and allow our children and our grandchildren to partake in its marvels," Nelson said.

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