Kirkbride crown's removal, restoration, and return to its rightful roost
Like other buildings and structures on the state hospital grounds, weather and age took their toll on the landmark cupola. The distinctive tower was taken down in 2009 to receive some long-overdue restoration work.
The following year, a crane lifted the refurbished 31,000-pound dome from its ground-level remodeling area and placed it gently atop the newly renovated Kirkbride Building. This eggshell colored crown of the Kirkbride gained some weight during restoration - about 11,000 pounds - because of the repairs, addition of windows and internal reinforcement work. The return of the cupola went smoothly and quickly and was not nearly as dramatic as the hold-your-breath, 12-minute removal. This was in large part due to the restoration work, which strengthened and stabilized the once fragile and partially decaying structure.