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Capitol architect defends cost

SPRINGFIELD -- The architect overseeing renovations at the State Capitol defends the cost of the project.
SPRINGFIELD -- The architect overseeing renovations at the State Capitol defends the cost of the project. The Capitol Architect Board met Friday to review the renovations.

J. Richard Alsop has come under fire in recent weeks for spending almost $700,000 on copper-plated, wooden doors, plus costs for chandeliers and statues. He says all the materials are high quality and fit the style of the building. As for those doors, he says they should last 150 years.

"It's an appropriate material. The dome on the building is a zinc-coated copper. The main roofs are copper, so copper is an element that's used in the building because of its high quality. The fact that we put copper doors on the west side, it gets a lot of weather exposure. Again, it's an appropriate material for the building."

Alsop says the Capitol Design Board had plenty of time to review the plans and offer more input. Governor Quinn is demanding tighter review if, and when, the rest of the Capitol is renovated.

Work being done now on the south and west wings will cost $50 million.
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