Art News

Oklahoma Capitol crumbles with no repair money

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP).- The state Capitol has been a symbol of Oklahoma’s history and aspirations since it opened in 1917. The halls of the limestone and granite edifice were lined with the portraits of famous residents, including humorist Will Rogers, Olympic champion Jim Thorpe and Soquoyah, creator of the Cherokee syllabary. The building sat on an oilfield with dozens of working rigs that represented the state’s hopes for prosperity. But 94 years later, the building reflects Oklahoma’s problems, especially its fiscal hardship. The stately structure is beginning to crumble. Yellow barriers have been erected to prevent visitors from climbing the steps of the Capitol’s south portico because mortar and pieces of limestone are falling from slabs overhead. An engineering analysis found mortar between the massive limestone panels was disintegrating, and the metal clips holding the panels have apparently corroded. Repairs