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The East Rotunda was completed in 1879 and was designed by Richard von Ezdorf for the Navy Department. The glass was painted over for black out purposes after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, as were all the skylights and domes in the building. Restoration of this dome (1984-1985, 1994) included the removal of paint from the original red, white and blue glass and the replacement of two panes. The National Park Service paint analysis revealed the color scheme in the surrounding area, and aluminum and dutch metal paints were applied by painters of the General Services Administration (GSA) to replicate the original silver and gold decorations.
The West Rotunda was completed in 1888 and designed by Richard von Ezdorf for the War Department. The original glass was removed in 1950 and replaced with concrete, for reasons unknown.
Research and restoration began in 1984 and was completed in 1988. The original designs for the glass were located at the National Archives. Research was done to find the color key, but none was located, so new colors were picked to match the original colors found during paint analysis of the surrounding plaster. The replication of the glass reflects a typical Victorian palette and the design includes an orange-mocha color with lavender and green accents. The surrounding plaster and cast iron decorations were painted and dutch metal simulating gold leaf was applied by the GSA in-house painters.
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