The State Senate Chamber will look a little different this January when its members reconvene, after installation of new carpet to the tune of $500,000. According to the Houston Chronicle, officials from the State Preservation Board say that the carpet came all the way from Dewbury, England.
The hefty price and the distance that the carpet came from are both for the sake of historical preservation of the 126-year-old statehouse. The carpet was installed in the Upper Chamber of the statehouse, to replace the carpeting that had worn since the last restoration, which was in 1993.
According to news channel WOAI, the carpet replacement is just part of the restorations that the Texas Capitol is undergoing.
The first carpet in the Upper Chamber was likely installed in 1889, a year after the building opened. The carpet was replaced in 1901 and again in 1917. The design of the new carpet was modeled after the 1917 version — a five-frame woven Brussels carpet with a design of foliage and heavy borders.
The carpet was recreated through careful research. First, researchers studied pictures of the original carpeting and mapped the carpet.
“Since all photographic evidence was in black and white, yarn colors were determined by researching additional historical carpets from the same time period, and by researching various trade catalogs and reference publications, together with Capitol-related documents,” Chris Currens, spokesman for the Preservation Board, told the Houston Chronicle.
Though the carpeting does seem to be a little pricey — some argue especially so since it was paid for with tax-payer dollars — it’s expected to last as long as the previously installed carpet, which was over 20 years, with good care. Experts recommend that carpets get professionally cleaned at least once every year to year and a half — which might add to the tax-payers’ bill for the carpet, but will definitely increase its lifespan.
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