Demonstrators Treating Historic Wisconsin State Capitol with Care and Respect

Posted on: March 2nd, 2011 by Guest Writer 54 Comments

Written by Jason Tish

Demonstrators gathered in the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Demonstrators gathered in the Wisconsin State Capitol.

Hundreds of thousands of passionate, angry, and often raucous protesters at the Wisconsin State Capitol in the past two weeks have been astonishingly respectful of the National Historic Landmark building itself. Since February 14 the Wisconsin State Capitol has been at the center of the national debate about the right of state employees to negotiate collectively and the imperative for states to balance their budgets in tough economic times.

My office is one block from Capitol Square in Madison so I’ve spent several lunch hours among the crowds inside and outside the building. For over two weeks tens of thousands of demonstrators concerned about changes to collective bargaining arrangements proposed by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker have marched around, passed through and occupied the building 24 hours a day, setting up an indoor community complete with first aid and information stations, child care, sleeping quarters, a family respite wing, a speaker’s stage at the center of the rotunda, live entertainment, and a steady stream of food called in by people around the world. The number of demonstrators camped out overnight in the capitol building has ranged from over a thousand to a less than a hundred in recent days after police were ordered to restrict access. During daytime hours crowds inside the building have reached shoulder-to-shoulder capacity. On weekend days crowds on Capitol Square have reached 50-70,000. Images and video of raucous crowds drumming and chanting in the rotunda have flooded websites. On day ten of the ongoing protests Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz estimated that around 500,000 people had spent time in the building.

"Keep our house clean" sign in the capitol building.

"Keep our house clean" sign in the capitol building.

This incredibly heavy use raises concerns about the impact of such crowds on the fabric of the building itself. Last Friday night I walked through the building to see the impact thousands of protesters were having. The Wisconsin State Capitol is a typical early-twentieth-century Beaux-Arts state capitol - monumental and cavernous with a soaring rotunda and marble and granite finishes everywhere. It was designed by the New York firm of George B. Post & Sons and completed in 1917. The building is noted for its decorative program, featuring sculptural groupings in each of the four wings, and dome paintings and mosaics by nationally prominent artists. Chambers and caucus rooms feature rich furnishings and hardwood finishes and are decorated with art and antiques from two former capitol buildings on the site.  In the late 1990s and early 2000s a full restoration/rehabilitation was completed.

Blue painter's tape affixes signs to the capitol walls.

Blue painter's tape affixes signs to the capitol walls.

Remarkably, the protesters have adopted an ownership ethic in the building, treating it with the utmost care and respect. Thousands of signs with protest slogans, information, and wayfinding information are taped to the granite and painted walls, without exception, with low adhesion blue painter’s tape. Memorial installations are left completely free of signage. Trash and recycle bins are prevalent, and there is no discarded trash anywhere. Demonstrators organize daily cleaning crews. They are also evangelistic about their respect for the building. Handwritten signs on glass display cases, rest room doors and granite pillars demand care, cleanliness, and respect for the building they call “Our house.”  High humidity and salt and dirt residue may add to the cumulative impact on floors and painted surfaces, but any damage to the building is unintended.

Political differences catalyzing the demonstrations are far from resolved and large crowds continue to gather at the building, but demonstrators have shown reverence for the state house as the gathering place of democracy is Wisconsin, and show no signs of resorting to symbolic attacks on it.

Jason Tish is the executive director of the Madison Trust for Historic Preservation and a local field representative for the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation works to save America's historic places. Join us today to help protect the places that matter to you.

Guest Writer

Although we're always on the lookout for blog content, we encourage readers to submit story ideas or let us know if you've seen something that might be interesting and engaging for a national audience. Email us at


54 Responses

  1. Angela

    March 3, 2011

    Well, I guess protesters littering the walls of the building with garbage and painter’s tape is better than them blowing up buildings on UW’s campus, like they did in the 70’s.

  2. Paul Flanigan

    March 3, 2011

    Joel, I was born/raised in Monona, WI (inside the city of Madison) and LOVE that capitol building. One of my favorites. I am thrilled to see that my home town is taking care of that building.

  3. Preservationist: Demonstrators Treat Capitol With Respect | Defend Wisconsin

    March 3, 2011

    […] more from PreservationNation […]

  4. a journalist

    March 3, 2011

    This was absolutely my experience as well. Thank you.

  5. lisagems

    March 3, 2011

    Angela, why the need to be snide? Why be hateful. These protesters are protecting YOUR rights, too. Whether you want to believe that or not. They are working to make sure strong arm political tactics do not win against fair policy. And they are doing it peacefully, respectfully, and LEGALLY.

  6. Daniel

    March 3, 2011

    Angela…actually, there have been groups of individuals that are assigned to Capitol and grounds clean-up. There are also people making sure that everyone protesting is respecting the very building that they are occupying (or at least were). For one of the 1st times (I have lived in Madison almost 20 years and have lived in Wisconsin my whole life) I truly felt that this was MY Capitol. Peaceful demonstration at its best.

  7. Will Hogoboom

    March 3, 2011

    “Low adhesion blue painter’s tape” must be removed within 14 days after applying, or it becomes permanent and causes damage, per 3M.

  8. Roger

    March 3, 2011

    The lib pigs did a lot of damage to the Capitol, who are you trying to bs,

  9. kay

    March 3, 2011

    Per 3M it does not affect marble and granite the way it would a typical dry walled painted surface………Actually, if you ever see bulk granite and marble it often has blue tape on it holding on labels of shipping etc.
    But, best of all, if you just ask the protesters to take down the signs and make sure there is no residue they will..for free!!!
    Who on Earth would just take a contractor’s word for this in the first place….hyperbole, hyperbole, and more hyperbole

  10. Sarah

    March 3, 2011

    Respect? Seriously?

    Taping union propaganda on the Veterans Memorial is a respectful action?

    In what alternate universe?

  11. Sarah

    March 3, 2011

    lisagems, the protesters aren’t protecting taxpayer rights. They’re protecting their “right” to fleece the taxpayers for ever increasing pay and benefits. They are in direct opposition of normal taxpaying non-government working citizens.

  12. Tim

    March 3, 2011

    Thank you Mr. Tish- The care and respect for which the protesters had for building is clear. There is no harm in using the blue tape on marble-look at 3Ms site on listed materials for which the tape leaves no residue…it doesn’t matter if there were 143 types of Marble-its the people’s house they cared for as such. There moments where the Capitol felt more like Union Station, with a constant ebb and flow of people. Cleaning crews volunteered to sweep and mop every night after the doors had shut. But bigger issue an ongoing idea that the protesters are illegitimate-disagree or not-the right to assemble is an essential right. The Capitol has never looked so good so so many around the nation and world. Perhaps in time for the farmers market the protesters could buy the capitol a new lawn…

  13. SH Crane

    March 4, 2011

    As a person who loves historical buildings and lives in a 150 year old house, I was worried about the Capitol, but during my many visits to it during the protests I did not once see any damage to or mistreatment of the building. The people were extremely respectful to the building and even the restrooms were kept neat and tidy. The Capitol did not have many garbage cans and no recycling stations, but the protesters set up their own and those areas were kept clean.

    As a normal non-government employee, non-union taxing paying citizen of WI, I dispute Sarah’s above comment about the protesters being in direct opposition to people like me. I completely agree with employees affected by the “Budget Repair bill”. Most of the people I met and spoke with at the protests were not govt. employees or union members, but they were taxpaying citizens from all over Wisconsin and they ranged in age from 20 to 85 years old.

  14. SH Crane

    March 4, 2011

    Oh I forgot to mention that my favorite memory of the protests was being inside the Capitol with thousands of people and singing the Star Spangled Banner. The Capitol was alive with voices and it sounded so lovely.

  15. Blue Cheddar

    March 4, 2011

    It truly was being taken care of very nicely during the occupation. The other things to add: I saw absolutely zero use of alcohol in or around the Capitol despite the fact that with young people in Madison & close the bars it would seem possible, very clean grounds and no litter in the building, the people who were staying there had shifts for cleaning rooms. The people there were/are quite aware of the critics out there and want to do right so that the issues will be the focus. Also, they call this the People’s House and do talk about how gorgeous it is. I’ve been really impressed. And for the record-I’m a middle-aged woman who lives 1 mile away and has visited the building almost daily throughout.

  16. John Hamilton

    March 4, 2011

    I see there are some bitter people out there. Small minded too. This was a great exercise in citizenship. The era of “conservatism” is just about over, so I can understand the bitterness. Since the entirely lame presidency of Ronald Reagan we have been subjected to an ascendancy of propaganda, falsehood, hyperbole, and the most nauseating collection of “pundits” and politicians that could seem possible. It has reached its crescendo with the ascent of Scott Walker to the governorship of one of our greatest states. His arrogance, combined with his stupidity, will have ramifications far beyond Wisconsin, a moronocracy for all the world to see. The absurdity of his “leadership” is generating a collective vomit around the world, though a bit eclipsed by another absurd “leader,” Moammar Khadaffi.

  17. Mae Johns

    March 4, 2011

    Sarah, are you independently wealthy? If you’re not, why are you shooting yourself in the foot? These people are AMERICANS, exercising their right to peaceably assemble. And YOU are being played by the Koch brothers and the teabaggers, who want all the money at the top and NONE for you.

    And yes, dear, taping protest signs on any government property is a respectful action. Read the Constitution instead of using it for toilet paper.

    And Angela, the ’70s are so over. Let’s talk about the ’90s, when CONSERVATIVE Timothy McVeigh blew up the Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City to protest President Clinton’s government. And the “delightful” Ann Coulter, who thought that he should have targeted the New York Times Building instead. Gee, how “American” of her.

  18. MyTemperWillNotCalm

    March 4, 2011

    Sarah, it’s a sad day when workers that make around $50,000 are “fleecing” the taxpayers. You should be more concerned about being fleeced at the gas pumps by billionaires.

  19. Patrick Glenn

    March 4, 2011

    So, is the author and other historic preservationists suggesting that the application of painters tape on historic marble is a “recommended” use? Aside from the liklihood that a large crowd camping in the Capitol Building would tend to cause damage to the historic property – but, that, in this case the damage might be much less than typically expected in such a case – would Jason Tish normally have concerns about applying painters tape to historic marble?

  20. John Horstman

    March 4, 2011

    @Sarah: “Memorial installations are left completely free of signage.” Sign of respect or not (I would posit that our rights to free speech and peaceable assembly – collective bargaining is assembling peacefully with other workers to discuss shared benefits and compensation, and then negotiating these positions with employers, because we have the right to speak/advocate for ourselves, freely – are some of the ones veterans fought to protect, and that would be a perfectly appropriate and respectful action), the article explicitly stated that this isn’t happening.

    Also, we’re not ‘fleecing’ taxpayers (we’re taxpayers too, by the way): we’re providing services to the public at 8% less than market rate as of right now (and 15% less than market rate for people with the same education levels/qualifications). If you don’t think that these services are things the state government should be providing, that’s a different story and a different discussion, but the proper way to address that is to cut services (and the associated jobs), not to further exploit the public workforce by demanding that we do more work for less money and with no ability to advocate for ourselves. Public worker unions are necessary to protect us from the tyranny of a voting majority (though this is questionable, based on the latest polls; at least a majority vote in the last election for representatives who back these policies), consisting of people like you, who apparently think of public employees as indentured servants or serfs, people of whom you can demand work without fair (or even market-rate) compensation for that work. I agree that we SHOULDN’T need unions, because people should be willing to pay for the public infrastructure that they enjoy and should all want fair remuneration for people working for/in/on that infrastructure, but if people paying for that infrastructure is off the table (levying the taxes necessary to pay for what we have is something you ‘side’ tends to decry), then we do need unions to protect us. Collective bargaining rights aren’t just about compensation, they’re also about grievance mediation, employer accountability, working conditions including workplace safety, discrimination protection, etc. The most ironic part of the “budgetary” framing of this union-busting is that the proposed cuts to our pay (money the state pay us, diverting it directly into health care plans and pension funds instead of giving it to us and having us put it in) in the bill are not actually matters of contract negotiation; because of how the laws establishing the health care and pension plans are written, the state can unilaterally decide to cut these benefits even if nothing else changes. As a result, we were expecting these cuts as soon as Walker won the election. None of this, not the protests and not the “Budget Repair Bill”, are actually about the state budget. They are all entirely about an expansion of executive power and the influence of money and privilege in politics. The struggle for individual rights and against hegemony is supposedly what the Tea Party and Conservatives generally are all about; you should be out marching with us, unless you’re actually lying about what you believe because “freedom” and “rights” are more marketable positions than “slavery” and “privilege” (the leaders of these movements/groups are DEFINITELY lying, but I’m not convinced all of the ground-level members/voters are).

    Anyway, about the Capitol: we’re out there advocating FOR public infrastructure and governance and against privatization. OF COURSE we don’t want to damage the Capitol: it’s symbolic of exactly that which we’re trying to protect; it’s a public building that houses the center of public government; it’s OURS, all of ours, and we don’t want to break our own stuff.

  21. Koeppel

    March 4, 2011

    Funny, but that’s not what the Journal is reporting…

  22. rodney

    March 4, 2011

    Will Hogoboom, Yes according to 3m painters tape will cause damage to “drywall” after 14 days! Can I remind you that the capitol is made of GRANITE. I work with this tape everyday and have left it on surfaces for well over a month – it is still removable. Don’t let your hate of protesters cloud your judgment.

  23. Rose

    March 4, 2011

    I wonder if the Koch Bros have a cleaning and repair business – maybe that’s why we are seeing a big $ estimate….. It is a sad state of affairs when some rogue faction of a Baptist Church can openly protest and denigrate a funeral service for a fallen military hero, but every petty little trick is being thrown at our peaceful protesters in an attempt to silence this move to save the rights of workers….

  24. Katie

    March 4, 2011

    Some of you ‘posters’ will say anything………………………………………painter’s tape left on longer than 10-14 days will mar and leave a sticky residue!!! Any of you tried to clean marble or granite??? As to these protestors fighting for the average working man’s rights………………BS!!!! These are public employees who want the right to continue to ‘rape’ the taxpayer– all for their own selfish needs! Wake up!!!

  25. AIW

    March 4, 2011

    Hmm. I’ll do it for $1M.
    Bottle of GooGone – $5 or less
    Effort to clean non-dirty marble – say 40 hours at $10/hour = $400
    Profit: $1M – $405 = $999,596

    Btw, Katie: public employees are taxpayers too, dear. I think it’s you that needs to wake up.

  26. lisagems

    March 4, 2011

    Sarah, yes, their payroll essential comes from the tax rolls. But, it is a job like any other job, and they do it well, for pay levels that do not reflect the level of education required for many, or the level of labor required for others. Corrections Officers go weeks, if not months without days off, work through both Federal and religious holidays, work schedules that frankly should be outlawed in this country. Garbage collectors handle waste that could potentially be life threatening.

    And teachers. Let us not forget the oh-so-slandered teachers. First, understand, I am NOT a teacher, at least not a public school teacher. I have taught specialty techniques to small groups in private settings. I have a very small understanding of the amount of work that goes into preparing a class for a large number of people for 3/4s of a year. That work extends well beyond the classroom time. Even beyond the school year, where the teacher is spending time, money and effort to keep abreast of the ever changing requirements of education, and to continue their own education. But even more important than the fact that teachers are required to have the kind of advanced degree that would earn them significantly more money in the private sector, beyond the fact that they are required to continually retrain and continue that education, these people are in charge of our CHILDREN! They are responsible for our children for a significant period of their lives. They have as much or more impact upon a child’s development than that child’s parents. Sometime they have more contact with that child. Wisconsin is currently blessed with some of the best schools in the nation. But apparently you don’t appreciate them. Maybe you don’t have children (I don’t). Maybe because of this you feel like *you* money shouldn’t be going to other people’s kids. I feel that is selfish and short-sighted, but it is your opinion. Maybe you just don’t give a damn about the future, about what the job situation will be like for the next generation. Maybe you don’t care that it is becoming harder and harder for American children to compete in the global marketplace because our educational standards are lagging behind even some “developing” nations.

    Maybe children just aren’t important to you.

    I’m not a parent. Children are important to me.

    And, hey, Katie. Yes, I have cleaned marble and granite. The blue tape isn’t an issue.

    Seems to me you and Sarah are the selfish ones here. You don’t seem to be capable to looking beyond your own anger and prejudice. You aren’t taking a long view. And you’ve completely bought into the protect the wealthy mentality that the Republican party is pushing. You don’t seem to realize that they, the Republican party and their corporate masters, are not looking out for your best interest. If there is rape and pillage happening, it is happen by the corporations, and facilitated by Walker.

    Katie, take a deep breath, stop spewing venom, and present a reasoned argument for your views. More people will listen.

  27. teacher

    March 4, 2011

    I am a teacher who had the HORRIBLE experience of having to deal with unions and fully understand how they have gotten way to big and powerful!

    My 3rd year teaching I started a new job. I was told by my principal that it would be a difficult position, that there was a group of teachers that were going to be difficult to work with. I was hired though because I had proven in my first two years of teaching that I could handle “difficult situations”.

    Difficult should have been replaced with Harassment. I was told in full staff meetings that I didn’t do a thing by these teachers, In grade meetings I was told I didn’t have a f*$%ing clue, emails were sent out to the entire staff ridiculing requests made by me on behalf of my students, a teacher threw a water bottle at me and my principal when he tried to have a meeting with us. After 5 months of this I went to my principal to say I couldn’t handle it any more. In January I had a perfect evaluation, in March when I went to complain it mysteriously changed to numerous performance deficits.

    So I did what any teacher would do…I went to my union representative. He listened to my story, and his solution…blame the principal because after all the teacher was tenured and part of the union. He had no comment though when I asked him what good going to my principal would do because the Union would just protect her anyways. I left and now have a “non-union” teaching job and LOVE IT!

    Unions protect bad teachers!

  28. dominique rafael hasam

    March 4, 2011

    $7 million in damages is treating it with utmost care ? LIAR !!!!

  29. Pam Ellis

    March 4, 2011

    Dominique and others…that huge clean-up estimate has been walked back…as it was in fact BS:

  30. david giffey

    March 4, 2011

    I am a career artist/muralist specializing in adorning Eastern Christian churches with icons. In 2001, a church in which I had spent four years making 2,000 square feet of art was severely damaged by a smoldering low temperature fire. It took six months and the assistance of expert art conservators to clean my paintings square inch by square inch. I helped in that painful process.

    I’ve been to the capitol a number of times during the protests, and have marveled at the loving care the protesters are showing, not only for each other but also for the building. The $7 million claim is ridiculous. The right to protest is priceless.

  31. jesus

    March 4, 2011

    umm…tape on stone doesnt leave any residue. not saying that just cuz im the son of god or anything, just happens to be a fact

  32. Billy

    March 4, 2011


    It truly amazes me that the Pro Walker responses are all vile and mean spirited. Kind of reminds me of poor losers, just saying… I would be willing to bet my hard earned money that the naysayers have not read the 140 pages of the bill. I would almost guarantee it, because if they had, I believe their beliefs would be swayed.

  33. AMB

    March 4, 2011

    The funny thing is that it’s okay to fleece America if you work on Wall street, but when you work for the state with a PhD for thousands less than in a private job, it’s greedy.

    Conservative Americans are an example of our education system gone wrong. I just wish they would all move south so that we can continue to strive to improve the lives of Wisconsinites.

    By the way, the report in the Journal Sentinel quoted the MacIverson Institute which receives its money from the BRADLEY foundation. All non-political reports on the wages of private sector show including benefits, 8% below or more even for low wage earners. The joke is on the Republicans, even Forbes Magazine stated that their analysis found that if they really wanted to save money- they would bring everything back to the public sector. Look at the joke of the privatization of the IT services- that was only 100 million spent with private vendors with nothing to speak for it….

  34. Shielah Andersen

    March 4, 2011

    Yes..the Capitol is an historical building and landmark. is filled with beautiful and valuable building materials and antiques, and is a wonderful place to visit as a tourist or with your school group where you can wander through, take pictures look at displays and whisper with reverence at the size and grandeur of the place. If you are lucky, one day you might even work in such a fine building…but without the true understanding of democracy it is a hollow and pricey shell.

    I have never loved this building as much as I have these last two weeks. To see if filled with Wisconsinites truly involved in the politics of our state and fighting for the rights of all of us brings tears of pride to my eyes. People of diverse ages, personalities and social classes bonding together in one building and still managing to maintain civilization in the face of constant pressure to back down is incredibly inspiring to me. I believe there is a reason the Capitol building is huge..not just to house the offices and meeting rooms of the elected elite, but to ensure that citizens can enact their right to assembly in whatever numbers it takes.

    Someday, the children who are fortunate enough to be immersed in this historic time by their protesting parents will bring their children to this building and say…”do you see this alcove kids? This is where your grandparents and I camped out for two weeks to ensure that you have the right to speak up for things you believe in, especially if the people you elect to office refuse to see the errors of the decisions they want to force upon you.” Democracy is housed in the hearts and minds of the citizenry, not in some wood and marble. The fact that the protesters are showing respect for the building that symbolizes this ideal truly shows exactly who the “slobs” in the house are, the ones who want them to submit and leave.

    Tape residue is always preferable to bullet holes. Remember how lucky we are to live in a place where peaceable protest is still allowed. Let’s keep it that way.

  35. PursuitofJustice

    March 4, 2011

    The newest figure released for cost of cleaning is $350,000. The $7.5 million dollar figure was simply to get people riled up and angry at the protesters. The papers then all publicize this exorbitant figure which people seize on and repeat. Then when the administration backpedals and says, “Oh wait, we were off by over $7 million dollars” it makes back page news. When they released that number initially they had not even bothered to get anyone in to look at the damage.

    The Governor has very little left in his arsenal to use to get his way other than to continue to lie to people about the real issues. As evidenced by folks like Katie and Sarah, ignorance provides a perfect forum for the Governor to continue to crush the middle class. The reason for the deep cuts in education and restricting access to higher education is because it keeps people stupid. Smart, educated people do not act like “sheeple” and blindly believe what he wants them to believe to support his political ambitions at their expense. “DOA Now Estimates Damage as Low as $350,000”

  36. PursuitofJustice

    March 5, 2011

    A more detailed article about the inflated figure:

  37. RuralWisconsin

    March 5, 2011

    That first estimate for cleaning was probably the cost for a public employee cleanup. Call to the private sector dropped it 90 percent. For what it is worth, other than my wife, I haven’t heard anyone in rural Wisconsin side with the protesters. Rural Wisconsin is Pro-Walker. I was worried going into the election since both choices were big city choices but we got the right one in office for my neck of the woods.

  38. Linda

    March 5, 2011

    @RuralWisconsin…… actually, rural Wisconsin is mad as hell, too. Hundreds of anti-Walker protesters greeted the Americans for Prosperity bus tour in Rhinelander yesterday and outnumbered pro-Walker people 3-1 at least. Rural Wisconsin knows they will die with Walker’s proposals. And our Capitol building is one of the most beautiful in the US. I was there, also, before they shut the doors and can attest personally to how clean it was.

  39. Robert

    March 5, 2011

    @ j Hamilton , how was the election of Walker an ascendancy? He was voted in by the people . And why the hateful tone? Conservatives are just getting warmed up buddy!

  40. Kurt

    March 5, 2011

    Was the respect being showed while they had their booze and bong festival? Just wondering.

  41. F#cktheGOP

    March 6, 2011



  42. Xamuel

    March 6, 2011

    The recent events in Wisconsin and in North Africa in the past couple months have really been challenging the intuition we get from action movies and video games. True power really is peaceful. That Gandhi guy was really onto something.

  43. JJ

    March 6, 2011

    Thanks for the annalysis of the building. I played there as a kid, was married there, and I have connected with it more than ever in the last few weeks. Thanks for reassuring us that the place looks great!

    PS: Don’t feed the trolls.

  44. CK

    March 6, 2011

    Don’t some of the “conservatives” here pay attention? The unions said that Walker could have their money (even though he gave huge tax breaks to “special interests” to create a huge debt just recently and wants public workers to pay it off for him).

    And what did Walker do? He slammed the door in their faces. It’s all about the national push to destroy unions, so that the Republicans won’t have to worry about them being organized to compete with them in elections anymore. They have no sense of justice. It’s always about giving money to the wealthiest among us.

  45. Patrick

    March 6, 2011

    It’s sad the way Walker has divided Wisconsinites.

    I’m not a union member and I don’t work for the state, but on the whole, I appreciate the work they do. Would I like them to make concessions because of the budget? Of course – and they agreed to Walker’s request. While I’m not in a union, I still feel that I have more in common with them than I have differences.

    It surprises me that the conservatives are fighting to remove rights of our citizens.

  46. Media: Good and Bad « Sarah & Rick's Adventure

    March 6, 2011

    […] the story, which was quickly debunked by painters, conservators, and other experts. The National Trust for Historic Preservation commented, “Remarkably, the protesters have adopted an ownership ethic in the building, treating […]

  47. joel hanes

    March 7, 2011

    Several of the apparent Walker supporters show all the signs of being paid sockpuppets using throwaway accounts and scripted talking points – in the jargon, “astroturf”

    Companies can and do purchase the services of professional blog commenters who wage PR campaigns in this fashion.

  48. joel hanes

    March 7, 2011

    Sarah, I’m a vet. Union placards on a veterans’ memorial trouble me far less than actual attacks on the freedoms my service was meant to defend.

  49. Jason Tish

    March 7, 2011

    I want to respond to a couple of comments:

    There have been a couple of references to reports of $7 million in damages. State officials have backed off this claim:
    $7 million sounds like a lot of damage, but there is precious little visible damage in the building now (I walked through with a reporter this afternoon), and what visible damage there is is cosmetic – mud marks on baseboards, a few spots of paint pulled off by tape, I found 2 small stickers that have not been scraped off the wall yet. Visible tape residue is far-between. Floors need to swept and perhaps mopped. The potential for costly damage may come as we come to understand the affect of the adhesive tape on the marble surfaces. Also, the sheer extent of the floor and surface area in the building will likely require much staff time simply to examine it all for spots of tape residue or bits of dirt or mud. Damage to landscape features is clear. Our weather was above freezing much of the past three weeks which melts snow making the capitol lawn soft and muddy. A few shrubs were trampled and have visible damage. Grounds crews will likely be asked to repair sod and perhaps replace plants.

    As to the speculation that signs were affixed to memorials – it did not happen. As I wrote in the post, “Memorial installations are left completely free of signage.” I have photos that support that. On my walk through the building today, the veterans’ memorial, probably the most vulnerable sculptural element in the building, was completely intact and unmarked.

  50. 30-40k Keep Pressure on Wisconsin Governor – Editorial « PNC-Minnesota Bureau

    March 8, 2011

    […] on Friday, and was back on Saturday! A peek into the Capitol building itself verified two weeks of occupation was not damaging to the building, yet another distraction from the issues facing Wisconsin. View to Speaker […]

  51. Typical Republican Lie: $7.5 Million to Clean Up State Capitol? Not So Fast. | Country or Party

    March 8, 2011

    […] adopted an ownership ethic in the building, treating it with the utmost care and respect,” wrote Jason Tish, executive director of the Madison Trust for HistoricPreservation and a local field […]

  52. Protesters take it easy on Capitol building. : Madison Preservation

    March 8, 2011

    […] cleanup estimates have been tossed around in various media. My post on the National Trust’s PreservationNation Blog was piques the interest of several journalists and bloggers and seemed to spark some conversation […]