Capitol Remnants Used for Holiday Ornaments

Posted December 3, 2004 at 2:42pm

The U.S. Capitol Historical Society’s 2004 holiday ornament, made with marble from the Capitol, is now on sale.

The ornament is made with marble and trees that were removed from the Capitol and its grounds for construction of the Capitol Visitor Center. The marble is ground into a fine powder and mixed with a resin so it can be shaped, said Diana Wailes, the Capitol Historical Society’s director of retail sales.

Wailes came up with the idea to use the marble for the annual ornament when the Capitol Historical Society inherited the marble.

The Capitol Historical Society also is selling a metal ornament with a 3-D replica of the Statue of Freedom that can spin. The Statue of Freedom is the Thomas Crawford statue that sits on top of the Capitol Dome.

As of Nov. 29, the society had sold approximately 3,400 ornaments, Wailes said. They usually sell two-thirds of their 10,000 ornaments. The rest are sold the following year.

The Capitol Historical Society has sold a metal ornament every year since 1991 and a marble ornament every year since 1999, Wailes said.

On Nov. 17, Ronald Sarasin, president of the Capitol Historical Society, accepted the National Endowment for the Humanities Award from President Bush on behalf of the organization.

Created in 1962, the society is the only private nonprofit educational organization dedicated solely to recording the history of the Capitol and Congress, according to the Capitol Historical Society’s Web site.

The nonpartisan organization is funded by membership fees, donations, grants, tours and merchandise sales.

The marble ornament is $19.80 for members and $22 for nonmembers. The metal ornament is $16.20 for members and $18 for nonmembers.

Some of the proceeds from the ornament sales are given to the Capitol to purchase art for the building.

Ornaments are sold in the Capitol Historical Society’s gift shop and on its Web site.