D.C.

Rotunda closed to public as Capitol Dome undergoes facelift

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Forget about visiting the Rotunda at the U.S. Capitol for the next couple of weeks. It's been closed as part of the ongoing repairs to the dome.

On this Cherry Blossom weekend, the Capitol is undergoing a facelift.

From a distance, the dome is stately and distinguished. But close up, this remarkable, 150 year old piece of architecture, is showing it's age.

Water leaks have damaged the Statue of Freedom. Exposure to rain, snow, and sleet, have left 1,300 cracks in the exterior shell.

"The good thing is they're actually renovating it and hopefully it hasn't taken too long, and there's not any permanent damage, " says Lyle Albright of Baltimore.

Christina Caraballo and her daughter Emma, love the Capitol grounds. She says this historic building should always be maintained:

"So $60-million, worth fixing the Capitol? Definitely," she says. "Seems expensive, but how can you put a price on a building like the Capitol?"

For two weeks, the area under the dome will close completely, as crews install a canopy to protect people from falling debris:

After that, a scaffolding will go up, and people underneath will pass through a covered, 96-foot walkway.

Ruby Alonso and her family, from Miami, says there may be hassles and frustration. But in the end, it will all be worth it.

"We've gone to a couple of monuments, and we're a little disappointed they're not as well kept up as we would've hoped," Alonso says. "This is Americana. This is what this country's about. Our history.

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