An extensive group of engineers, consultants and other specialists were assembled to address the complex renovation/restoration needs of the historic Utah State Capitol. The project included very specific base isolation and seismic upgrade to the overall building, including the dome and rotunda. As part of the seismic upgrade, an elevated terrace was added to the building. Because the Utah State Capitol building is situated on a veritable seismic zone, the exterior stone and terra cotta were reinforced to seismic standards and repaired or replaced as needed. Additionally, the mechanical, electrical, data and communications systems were completely replaced. Clearly, this was a large undertaking overall, to say the least.
The interior restoration included replacement of skylights and reestablishment of original spaces, colors and ornamentation. The Capitol, which was divided into four restoration zones, was connected to the East-West buildings through a below podium tunnel.
To add even more closure and a sense of visual panache to the building, Utah’s “seal” was created via a state-of-the-art waterjet process, resulting in one of the most brilliant representations of a state’s logo ever to be seen.
More than 1,000 pieces — consisting of 25 different color representations of natural stone (and three types of metal) — were precisely cut to fit together as a giant precision puzzle via computer-driven waterjet technology. This circular logo — with a diameter of 20 feet — was first sent out for bid in early 2013 and the project was completed in 2016. The building team was exploring ways to best achieve this landmark, incorporating full-color visuals. Ultimately, the logo project was awarded to Wisconsin Terrazzo of Onalaska, WI, and Creative Edge Master Shop of Fairfeld, IA.
After the official artwork of the logo was sent to the fabricator, it was scanned using cutting-edge technology that resulted in a computer’s interpretation of what color stone, in what sizes and shapes, should be placed in specific positions to optimize visual perfection.
Of the stone material that was selected, the most prominent decorative element, the “beehive,” was represented by an American stone, Utah’s own Hanna Gold. The fabrication technique blended waterjet-cut stone and metals, along with poured-in-place epoxy terrazzo. After all materials were set in place, the floor logo was polished to a shining patina and was then permanently bonded to the substrate.
“We went all over the country looking for the right stone material to be used in the Utah Statehouse rotunda,” said Jim Belilove, founder and CEO of Creative Edge Master Shop. “Our stone logo re-creation had to be spot-on relative to which colors of stone were to be used. We just didn’t want to select stone that met the criteria of Utah’s state logo colors; we wanted durable stone that would stand up to daily foot traffic for the next 100 years.” Since the project took place, Belilove has become a “Special Marketing Partner” working directly with the Hanna Gold mines, located in the Uinta Mountain range of Utah.
The Lieutenant Governor of Utah, Spencer J. Cox, also is the official “Keeper of the state seal.” Cox was on-hand to verify that all details and requirements were met at the dedication, which just happened to be the 100th anniversary of Utah’s statehood.
The logo, which is located under the main floor of the rotunda, in Utah’s “Hall of Governors,” will be seen and appreciated by hundreds of thousands of visitors every year. The Utah State Capitol Preservation Board oversaw all elements of the renovation and the artwork/selection of materials for this emblem. Director Allyson Gamble was at the helm from start to finish, ensuring that every square inch of the major renovation was done to the highest standards and original intent.
Stephanie Angelides, collections manager of the board, was also a major contributor relative to the floor emblem’s authenticity and historical antecedents.
“The unique aspect of this project was the exact matching of the red, white and blue flag colors in terrazzo with the combination of waterjet-cut stone and poured andpolished terrazzo,” said Jason Zarwell of Wisconsin Terrazzo. “All of this worked very well, and I can assure everyone that this will be a permanent, enduring feature of this beautiful building.”
Utah State Capitol logo
Salt Lake City, UT
Stone Quarrier: Hanna Gold mines, located in the Uinta Mountain range of Utah (Hanna Gold)
Waterjet Fabricator: Creative Edge Master Shop, Fairfeld, IA
Terrazzo Supplier: Wisconsin Terrazzo, Onalaska, WI