Shoptalk—deciphering architectural and historic preservation jargon one word at a time!
a circular opening at the top of a dome or in a wall; also known as an œil de boeuf from the French, or simply a "bull's-eye"; From Latin oculus meaning eye
Examples: An oculus can be enclosed with a glass window or open to the elements. It can be left open or be closed using a clypeus, a round, shield-like covering. (Oculus. Gill, N.S., About Education.) One example of the open form of the oculus is located at the top of the Kansas Statehouse inner dome.
Above is a view of the top side of inner dome/oculus prior to restoration. Note the plywood infill within oculus.
A view of the bottom side of the inner dome/oculus during initial copper restoration. Note the plywood infill within oculus.
A view of the bottom side of the at inner dome/oculus after copper restoration. Note the unfinished steel framework for the original historic chandelier that was removed in 1942 as a donation for a scrap metal drive during World War II.
Kansas Statehouse’s inner dome/oculus after restoration and installation of recreated historic chandelier.