If you're in search of a piece of Missouri architecture, look no further.
The Missouri State Capitol Commission on June 3 is auctioning off stone salvaged from the Capitol's exterior repair project.
"I think it's unique," said Patrick Baker, chair of the Capitol Commission. "Certainly, we haven't had an exterior renovation to this scale since the building was built, so there was never really an opportunity for stone to be auctioned off on this scale."
Approximately 5 percent of the Capitol building's stone was removed during the $49.3 million exterior renovation project that began in 2015 and wrapped up in early 2021. Roughly 40 percent of the removed stone came from the Capitol dome, Baker said.
The Capitol was built using Burlington Limestone mined from quarries in Carthage, near the southwest corner of the state. Most of the auction materials are large paver stones, but Baker said some base stones, capstones, scrap remnants from stone repairs, and decorative pieces -- such as rosettes -- are also for sale.
The stone pieces are divided among pallets in about 100 lots and potential buyers are required to bid on the lot. The stone can be viewed the morning of the auction prior to bidding.
Baker said he's heard interest in the event, particularly surrounding the pavers that will be on sale.
The pavers come from the base of the Capitol and had to be replaced to resolve drainage issues, he said. The pieces can be functional, such as using a paver for a small outdoor patio foundation, but Baker said the auction's draw for buyers is owning a piece of the Capitol and supporting the Capitol Commission's restoration mission.
The Capitol Commission has hosted masquerade balls and wine tasting fundraisers before, but Baker said the upcoming auction is its first venture into selling pieces of the building it's tasked with preserving.
He said the Capitol Commission developed a couple ideas for what to do with the stone -- an idea to create wine bottle stoppers was even tossed around -- but it learned the stone is very dense and difficult to create smaller items with.
"So we decided what we'd do is just sell it as it is," Baker said.
"We thought this would be a unique opportunity to let folks own a piece of the Capitol and hopefully raise a little money for the commission and the work that it does," he added.
Baker said the commission doesn't have a goal for what it expects to raise through the auction, but all funds will go back to restoring and preserving the Capitol building, grounds and art.
He said he's hopeful the pavers are sold above market value -- because of the added value of supporting the Capitol's restoration -- but if the commission "makes a dollar, that'd be great."
"If they sell under market value, that's fine too because the state's already made the investment, and we're just getting a return back on some of that to go to the non-for-profit," Baker said.
Whatever doesn't sell will be added to the state surplus or used as fill somewhere, Baker said.
Gratz Real Estate & Auctioneering volunteered to conduct the auction, which begins at 10 a.m. June 3 at 1635 Industrial Drive.
After making payment with cash, Apple Pay or check, buyers will receive a receipt required to pick up their purchased lot of stone. Pavers weigh upwards of 75 pounds each, Baker said, so buyers are given a two-week window to retrieve their purchase after buying.
"I encourage people to come out and be prepared," Baker said. "They're not light, they're heavy, dense pieces of stone."