SPRINGFIELD — Go to Home Depot or Lowe’s and look for a set of exterior doors for your home or business, and the cost likely wouldn’t exceed a few thousand dollars.
But if you’re looking for the kind of copper-coated doors that give the gaudy shine of a brand-new penny to three entrances to the state Capitol, forget about finding those in a strip shopping mall or paying anything less than what a suburban mansion might cost.
Capitol Architect J. Richard Alsop III Wednesday confirmed a published report that the new doors — part of a $50 million overhaul of the state Capitol — cost taxpayers $669,608 to buy and install.
That amount has triggered a new round of criticism toward the renovation project from a prominent financial watchdog and one of the state Legislature’s most aggressive fiscal hawks, who both questioned the optics of spending so much on mere doorways that once featured more modest, plain glass doors with handles in the shape of the state seal.
“We must remember that these are custom doors with carvings that do not exist on a shelf at your typical home-improvement store,” Alsop said of the new, copper-coated doors in a prepared statement.