The word cupola comes from Latin meaning “little cupo” or little dome, originally referring to small domes atop cathedrals, which allowed light to enter the sanctuary. After being in storage for more than 30 years, the lantern of the cupola was restored to its original location with the rehabilitation of the Legislative Building in 2004. The lantern shines brightly atop the 287-foot dome with energy from the sun. The Legislative Building solar project was installed in 2004 as part of the rehabilitation of the structure. The solar power project consists of two separate 10-kilowatt solar arrays placed on the fifth-floor roof. Even in a cloudy climate, the 144 modules produce up to 20,000 kilo-watt hours of electricity annually. This is enough electricity to illuminate the lantern and exterior colonnade.
From left: Restoring the lantern and the Cupola in 2004, Solar arrays placed on the fifth-floor roof and The lantern at night