If you were in downtown Jackson last week, you might have noticed that the scaffolding on the New Capitol got significantly higher, and by Tuesday had covered the very top, where the golden eagle perches.
What’s going on up there? Well, a video posted on the MDAH Historic Preservation Division Facebook page tells us that the eagle is getting stripped and re-gilded with gold leaf, probably for the first time since the 1979-82 renovation. They even gave us a great video of the eagle close up! (I tried to embed the 38-second video here, but was cruelly thwarted by technology–click the photo to see it.)
The caption to the video reads:
High above the New Capitol, Lawson Newman and Sully Clemer, project architects for WFT Architects, made this video of the Mississippi eagle, which is being stripped and re-gilded this week by The Gilder’s Studio of Olney, Maryland as part of the exterior renovation underway since last year. When the last gold leaf is placed next week, she’ll be ready to face another twenty years or so.
The eagle’s dimensions, according to the latest measurements: 7′-8″ from base to head (the gilded portion of the base, below the ball). 8′-5″ from base to highest point at the topmost edge of the wings. 14′-2″ from wing tip to tip.