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BAMR Takes Cere(ou)s Care in Removing Missouri State Capitol’s Historic Statue

A statue of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of Agriculture, has stood at the top of the Missouri State Capitol’s dome for 94 years. Photo Courtesy of: Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc.

Ceres has left the building. Fortunately, the move is only temporary.

After 94 years, Ceres, the iconic statue perched on top of the Missouri State Capitol dome, has been removed. She was dismantled on November 15 to undergo repairs.

Bulley & Andrews Masonry Restoration (BAMR) safely secured and resourcefully removed the 10’-4” sculpture of Ceres, the Roman Goddess of Agriculture. The team, led by senior project manager Jeremy Johnson, procured a 550-ton crane which allowed skilled tradesman to access and remove the statue while hundreds watched and waited to see the historic figure up close. Ceres was then transported to the Conservation of Sculpture and Objects in Forest Park, Illinois.  She’ll be there for the next year for refurbishment.

Missouri State Capitol: Ceres

Ceres will be at the the Conservation of Sculpture and Objects in Forest Park, IL for a year of refurbishment. Photo by: Tony Carosella.

BAMR is currently conducting material analysis testing to understand the composition of the bronze and metal that make up the well-recognized statue. The team is also creating cleaning samples and color mock-ups to establish an appropriate restoration program that will be reviewed for approval by the State of Missouri. Once finalized, the restoration program will describe in detail the necessary repairs, laser cleaning, patina applications and sealing needed to maintain Ceres for the next century.

The team used a 550-ton crane to safely remove the 10-foot statue. Photo by: Tony Carosella.

In conjunction with coordinating Ceres’ conservation, BAMR is also completing the façade repairs that encompass the entire capitol building, totaling 500,000 sq. ft.. The restored capitol building is expected to be completed in 2020, in time for the next gubernatorial inauguration.