Oklahoma City, OK 73105
For Immediate Release: January 30, 2015
Workers install the historic sconces.
Capitol renovation Project Manager Trait Thompson and Senate Chief
Operating Officer Randy Dowell admire the historic artifact.
historic sconces outside chamber
Lost for decades, two of the original lighting sconces
that once adorned the Senate Gallery have been restored and were
installed Thursday just outside the entrance to the Chamber.
Trait Thompson, Project Manager for the restoration of the state
Capitol, said it was exciting that nearly a hundred years after
they had first been installed in the building, two of the sconces
now light the Senate foyer.
“It’s a great day for the history of the Oklahoma State
Capitol. It’s one of those things we can all be proud of.
It’s one of those things we can all celebrate,” Thompson
said. “This is something that ties us directly back to when
this building was opened.”
Photographs taken about a year after the building was first completed
revealed what the original lighting for the Chamber had looked like.
Those overseeing a historic restoration of the Chamber in 1993 had
hoped to find at least one of the original pieces so it could be
replicated. When efforts to locate any of the sconces proved unsuccessful,
other light fixtures were installed.
Twenty years later, in June of 2013, Senate IT Director John Warren
was moving computer cables above a fifth floor ceiling and noticed
an opening to another space in the attic. That led to the discovery
of 11 of the original fixtures that lit the visitor’s gallery
when the building was first completed in 1917. Another sconce was
later located in a House storage space.
“At some point in the future, we’d like to replicate
these and install them in the Gallery where they originally were
located,” said Senate Chief Operating Officer Randy Dowell.
“In the meantime, it’s great that we now have two of
these historic pieces just outside of the Chamber.”
Dowell said news coverage about the discovery of the long-lost sconces
had led to the return of another missing piece of Senate history.
After seeing the story in the paper, a Norman couple realized the
floor lamp they’d bought at a swap meet some 40 years ago
had originally been in the Senate Chamber. They donated the piece
back to the Senate and it was restored and returned to the Chamber
“There were originally several of those floor lamps, so if
anyone thinks they may have one of them or another historic piece
in their attic or basement, we’d love to bring those artifacts
back to the Capitol,” Dowell said.
Anyone who thinks they may have an original piece from the Senate
Chamber can contact Dowell at 405- 524-0126.
Links to archived high resolution photos from
2013 and 1918:
found in attic
found in attic
fixtures being brought down from attic
in 1918 with light fixtures
Link to archived high resolution photo of floor lamp from 2014:
High Res Photo
of floor lamp
For more information, contact
Randy Dowell, Senate Chief Operating Officer: (405) 524-0126