Port Townsend ship riggers to reinforce Capital chandelier

PORT TOWNSEND — Four representatives from Point Hudson-based Brion Toss Yacht Riggers will travel to Olympia next week to reinforce the state Capitol rotunda’s five-ton chandelier.

And they’ll be using ship-rigging rope to do it.

The Capitol’s gigantic chandelier is supported by a 3,000-pound chain.

But after the February 2001 Nisqually earthquake, the state decided to beef up its renovation plans to provide earthquake repairs and seismic improvements.

Included on the list of actions was providing better support for the chandelier, said Steve Valandra, state General Administration Office spokesman.

During the earthquake, the freestanding dome over the rotunda, which weighs 52 million pounds, “wobbled” slightly off its base, he said.

That caused buttress stones holding it in place to come loose, prompting concern over the chandelier’s stability, he said.

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The rest of the story appears in the Friday/Saturday Peninsula Daily News Jefferson County edition. Click on SUBSCRIBE, above, to get the PDN delivered to your home or office.

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