BUTTE, Mont. -

Workers began taking out stained glass from the historic Butte-Silver Bow courthouse Friday.

After building scaffolding for three days to reach the courthouse dome, Bovard Studio Inc. began removing the glass. Once all are removed, crews will take out the lead and replace it.

The project superintendent said the glass could last hundreds of years, but the old lead was starting to become soft, which could cause pieces to break and fall out of the dome.

"When we do this kind of work, the re-leading part, I call it the highest level of restoration because what you're doing is basically giving the stained glass window another hundred years of life," said project superintendent Chris Dieter.

The area of the courthouse under the dome has been taped off to keep people safe.

Workers expect finish pulling the glass out next week, and should be installing the re-leaded windows in December.