A Denverite reader recently asked us a question we’ve heard before: “Why is the Capitol’s dome a different tone of gray than the rest of the building? This happened when the dome was re-gilded, as I recall, and I thought the lower part would soon be repainted to match, but not yet.”
Short answer: It was always that color, deep down. And no, they’re not going to fix it.
Long answer: Back in 1871, when Colorado’s Capitol building was originally under construction, the entire building was painted the battleship gray color you now see so prominently on the upper part of the building, near the dome. According to lead tour guide, Janine Conklin, the color of the capitol building has changed due to the many re-paintings and renovations done over the buildings 151 year history.
In 2013, during the dome’s renovation, the original battleship gray paint was uncovered, and the experts decided to leave it untouched underneath the gilded dome. The state has no plans to re-paint the dome and make the entire building a uniform color, Conklin said. They will instead leave the original battleship gray on the dome as a testament to the interesting history of Denver’s capitol building.
Remember, you can ask your own mundane, weird or nagging questions at denverite.com/ask!
Here are a few more looks at the different grays: