Capitol Alert

The Capitol looks like a construction zone, but it should be spruced up for Christmas

The California State Capitol building from the Tower Bridge in Sacramento in 2013.
The California State Capitol building from the Tower Bridge in Sacramento in 2013. Sacramento Bee file

The Capitol is getting a bit of brushing up this month and next, right in time for the holiday season.

Until then, those walking in on the Capitol Mall or driving through downtown Sacramento might notice that the large white building is a little less regal than usual.

Scaffolding surrounds the building as workers address drainage issues on all three balconies and porticos, Assembly Chief Administrative Officer Debra Gravert said.

“We found standing water issues under the black and white marble tiles, which caused staining on the granite façade of the Capitol,” Gravert said. “We are installing a new water sloping mortar bed, membrane, and tile.”

Work on the west side, where the Capitol Christmas tree will stand, should be completed before the lighting ceremony on Dec. 5, she said. The north and south side renovations are expected to be done by Jan. 6, 2020, when the Legislature reconvenes.

The Capitol Christmas tree arrived in Sacramento on Thursday morning. It was a replacement for a damaged tree that came on Tuesday. Both trees were harvested from the Latour State Demonstration Forest in Shasta County, according to the Department of General Services.

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Hannah Wiley joined The Bee as a legislative reporter in 2019. She produces the morning newsletter for Capitol Alert and previously reported on immigration, education and criminal justice. She’s a Chicago-area native and a graduate of Saint Louis University and Northwestern.