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Dinniman Named to Capitol Preservation Committee
On October 5, 2017
WEST CHESTER (October 5, 2017) – State Senator Andy Dinniman has been named to the Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee, an independent committee dedicated to conserving, maintaining and restoring the Pennsylvania State Capitol and its contents for future generations.
“I look forward to serving on the Capitol Preservation Committee as we continue to work to preserve the Pennsylvania State Capitol as the ‘People’s House’ for generations to come,” Dinniman said. “The Pennsylvania State Capitol is widely-recognized as one of the most beautiful state capitol buildings in the nation and that is largely due to the diligent restoration and conservation efforts of the committee and its members.”
Dinniman, who already serves as on the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, was appointed to the committee by Senate President Pro Tempore Joe Scarnati upon the recommendation of the Senate Minority Leader, Senator Jay Costa.
The Pennsylvania Capitol Preservation Committee (CPC) was created in 1982 by Act 327 the General Assembly. For more than 30 years, the CPC has served the citizens of the Commonwealth by restoring and preserving the art, architecture, and history of the Pennsylvania State Capitol and Capitol Complex
Throughout the course of the Committee’s history, it has conducted well over one hundred individual restoration projects designed to preserve the original 1906 appearance of the Capitol for all visitors. Some of the most prominent projects that the CPC has undertaken are the restoration of the Main Rotunda and dome, the conservation of Pennsylvania’s historic Civil War battle flags, and the removal and restoration of the statue on top of the Capitol dome.
Other projects include conservation of the Barnard statues at the Capitol’s main entrance and conservation of Henry Chapman Mercer’s Moravian Tiled Floor, which sustains yearly damage from the harmful effects of winter salt. The CPC also repairs and maintains over 200 historic Capitol clocks and several thousand pieces of custom-designed furniture, all designed by Philadelphia architect Joseph M. Huston
Designed by Huston and built from 1902-1906, the Capitol contains 640 rooms featuring priceless murals and stained glass, marble, 24 karat gold leafing, massive bronze chandeliers, ornate woodwork and furnishings by some of the best artisans of the day.
The one-of-a-kind structure incorporates various Renaissance designs in some of its largest rooms: Italian in the House Chamber, French in the Senate Chamber, and English in the Governor’s Reception Room. It also reflects Greek, Roman and Victorian influences in its art and ornamentation. Throughout the building, Huston blended the various styles with motifs featuring Pennsylvania’s achievements in labor, industry, and history, making the Capitol uniquely American.
The Capitol is also home to forty-three murals painted by renowned artist Violet Oakley, the first female artist to receive a public commission for adorning a capitol building in the United States. Beginning in 1902, Oakley worked on the Capitol for a quarter-century as the principal artist for the largest number of murals there.
The Capitol’s centerpiece is a 272-foot, 52 million-pound dome inspired by Michelangelo’s design for St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome. Following its completion, the building was the tallest structure between Philadelphia and Pittsburgh for 80 years.
The Capitol is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was designated a National Historic Landmark in 2006, on the hundredth anniversary of its construction.
Dinniman, who also serves as Minority Chair of the Senate Education Committee, spoke to the power of using the Capitol and its history as an educational tool and resource.
“I can’t think of a better way to educate our young people the importance of art, art history, and historic and cultural preservation than to tour and use the Capitol building – the people’s building – as an example of various styles of classic artwork, design, and architecture,” Dinniman said.
In addition to those committees, Senator Dinniman serves on the Senate Agriculture and Rural Affairs, Environmental Resources and Energy, State Government, Transportation, and Veterans Affairs and Emergency Preparedness Committees, and represents the governor on the Board of Trustees of Lincoln University.