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Building Conservation Associates

Michigan State Capitol

Location: Lansing, Michigan 
Year Built: 1871 
Original Architect: Elijah E. Myers 

The Michigan State Capitol, designed by architect Elijah E. Myers, was completed in 1879. In contrast to its somewhat restrained exterior, the Capitol’s lively interior decorative finishes are executed in a brilliant palette, employing a broad range of colors and painted details.

BCA was part of a consulting team charged with evaluating the Capitol’s building systems and the impact of those systems on the building's historic fabric. BCA surveyed the entire interior of the building and conducted localized detailed conditions assessments of damage to the decorative paint and plaster finishes. BCA also performed an interior finishes study of the building’s ground floor plaster to identify historic finishes and colors. 

In anticipation of the campaign to address the building’s systems, BCA conducted an archival review of photographs and drawings from the 1989-1992 major restoration campaign in order to determine the locations of historic and non-historic fabric. BCA then integrated the information into an existing BIM model for use during the building system upgrade project. Most recently, BCA conducted a full decorative surfaces conditions survey, including using high resolution photogrammetry to capture the complex mural conditions in the dome. This survey will be used to develop an interior restoration plan for the building.