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State House Gets Lightning Rods For 1st Time

The Beacon Hill dome (JackieASutherland/Flickr)
The Beacon Hill dome (JackieASutherland/Flickr)

A $20 million exterior makeover of the Massachusetts State House includes the installation of lightning rods for the first time in the building's 215-year history.

One of those lightning rods is being placed inside the decorative pine cone that adorns the top of the cupola atop the building's golden dome.

There are no memories of lightning ever damaging the building since it opened in 1798, but engineers say the rods are vital to ensuring the safety of the historic building for years to come.

The Boston Globe reports that the pine cone's wooden cap is being replaced with metal, and a copper cable threaded through the middle to the ground to protect it from electrical strikes.

Other cupola repairs include new paint and the replacement of rotted timbers.

This program aired on July 22, 2013. The audio for this program is not available.

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