University Of Iowa Old Capitol Dome Oculus

In 2001, an unfortunate fire destroyed the dome on the Old Capitol building in Iowa City, Iowa. Barnes Manufacturing was called in to help with the re-building of the new oculus (door) for the flag pole as well as a flag halyard guide on top of the dome. We were honored to work on such an important part of Iowa history.


ˈäkyələs, noun, ARCHITECTURE

 —a round or eyelike opening or design, in particular.

Our team worked with the engineers and architects at Cedar Rapids, based OPN to get the project from design to delivery. The installation of this custom manufactured element on top of a building over 150 years old was no small feat. The team took much pride in helping restore the iconic dome to its former glory.

Cedar Rapids Gazette article

the old capital dome burns 2001 photo credit Jabuol

A construction accident caused the devastating fire destroying the historic gold cupola.

Early design stage- the concept takes shape.

oculus with halyard guide

Closup of brush arm and oculus structure.

top plate prior to cut and onlay

Steel top plate is readied  and tested.

dome with oculus leaves transport

Oculus is loaded up for delivery to the Old Capitol.

Crane hoisting the oculus to the newly constructed cupola.

Final measurements are taken by Barnes employee, Dave Soden.

Tom Barnes, at the top of the world.


Bob Barnes takes a final view a top the Old Capitol.

the dome and oculus now stand tall atop the landmark

The Old Capitol Building enjoying a new hat, thanks to Barnes Manufacturing.