Dome Work Updates

Updated September 7, 2023

Thank you for your interest in the Lake Forest Library dome. This blog post will be updated as repair work on the dome progresses.

Pictured: The Library Board and Staff, WJE, and L. Marshall team.

  • In December 2021, the Lake Forest Library Board approved a Professional Services Agreement with Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc. (WJE) for investigation and design services for the repair and restoration of the dome.
  • In May 2022, the City of Lake Forest Historic Preservation Commission issued a Certificate of Appropriateness for the dome solution presented by WJE.
  • And in November 2022, the Library Board agreed to follow WJE’s recommendation and enter into a contract with L. Marshall Roofing & Sheet Metal to complete the dome repair project. The photo shows the Library Board and Staff, WJE, and L. Marshall team.

Updates are posted below.


  • The limestone foundation is cleaned.
  • Downspouts are installed.
  • Scaffolding is removed.
  • The dome restoration work is complete August 22, 2023!
  • The Library celebrates the completed dome starting August 28 with custom M&M'S to thank patrons for loving the Library and being patient throughout the dome work.


  • Installation of the copper panels, decorative elements, and new inlay gutter system is completed.
  • Insulation is installed inside the dome.
  • Interior work begins in the Rotunda and includes paint, plaster repair, and skylight cleaning. Temporary protective covers are added to the floor and Remisoff murals. New books are temporarily moved to the Reference Annex.


  • Most of the exterior brick masonry has been repointed and interior repointing in the attic is well underway.
  • Copper roofing installation at the four corner areas is mostly complete.
  • Copper roofing installation at the new gutter is underway.
  • Two pieces of wired glass in the exterior skylight have been replaced.
  • Trials are underway to identify the most appropriate method for cleaning the limestone masonry.


  • Installation of scaffolding was completed in March and periods of mild weather made for great roofing conditions during much of April.
  • The tarp has been removed and new watertight underlayment is now providing weather protection.
  • Architects and contractors are working on sections of the dome at a time, replacing wood framing and repairing limestone.


  • Installation of exterior scaffolding began March 9.
  • The east and west courtyards will remain closed throughout the dome work.
  • Six parking spots in the far back of the Library lot will be used for construction staging throughout the dome work.
  • Work hours will be 7:00 am to 5:00 pm.
  • The dome will not be removed during repair. Architects and contractors will be lifting the tarp to work on sections of the dome at a time. That way, watertightness can best be maintained throughout the project.


  • We are awaiting permit approval from the City. At the February 14 Board Meeting, the Building Committee shared that WJE now has the approved building permit. On-site work is expected to begin in March 2023. Patrons can expect scaffolding and construction to have minimal impact on library services and building access.
  • At this time, it is expected that the Rotunda murals will remain in place throughout the dome work. Their restoration is being explored after the dome work is complete.