Preservation project underway to restore House and Senate chambers


The $2.5 million project will be completed in January 2020.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — Work on a project to restore the House and Senate chambers in the Rhode Island State House has begun.

The $2.5 million project includes replacing the chambers’ carpets and drapes, which were last replaced in 1988 and 2002. Legislators’ desks will also be restored and their chairs will be replaced with new models.

The public galleries, skylights, and rostrums will all be repaired, and the chambers will be painted with colors that are as close as possible to the original shades. The project is intended to restore the chambers as closely as possible to its original appearance at the beginning of the last century.

In addition, the chambers’ electrical systems will be fully updated, and services for those with disabilities are high on the list. The hearing loop system, which allows sound to be transmitted electronically to digital hearing aids, will be installed.

Improvements to the sound systems will also be made. 

“The State House is one of the most beautiful buildings in all of Rhode Island, and it was created to be a lasting monument to the achievements of our state. We are very proud to be honoring that concept with this careful, thoughtful renovation, which will bring it back to its original splendor, while incorporating the safety, technology and accessibility features that modern public buildings demand,” said House Speaker Nicholas A. Mattiello.

The project is expected to be completed by the start of the next legislative session on January 7, 2020.

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