Members of a board overseeing renovations to the state Capitol are defending decisions to include ornate features that have raised eyebrows.
The four-person board says the inclusion of copper-plated doors and chandeliers was "a mere fraction of the work being done.'' They say the $50 million renovation was mostly about safety and followed all budget and procedural requirements.
Three sets of copper doors each cost $223,000 and the chandeliers cost $80,000. Gov. Pat Quinn has halted funding for future renovations until a review of the expenditures.
In Springfield, the west wing of Illinois' Capitol building is nearing the end of a two-year, $50 million renovation.
Workers are putting on the finishing touches. Everywhere you look, you see a balance between modern building requirements and historical details.
The door handles are flipper style — that's easier to use for people with disabilities — but they're cast with the state seal. There are lighted emergency exit signs, of course, but they're in an old-timey font.