The Palace of Gold, a major tourist attraction in West Virginia, is a source of inspiration for devotees and pilgrims worldwide. This gem of New Vrindaban has been undergoing some much-needed renovation for the pleasure of Srila Prabhupada and visitors alike.
Renovations, which began last year, include new granite stairs, reinforcing and beautifying the walls, new drainage systems, completing the new guest parking lot and general painting of the Palace.
The bottom portion of the new black granite two inch stairs leading to the Palace are nearly completed, awaiting the middle section to connect the already finished upper stairs. The polished Absolute Black Granite, flame treaded for traction, surrounded by rose-colored granite on both sides, adds to the already majestic look of the Palace and is meant to endure the test of time.
All of the rose colored granite, the risers and cheek walls, are from Stony Creek Quarry and are made of the same material found all over Manhattan and at the base of statue of liberty. This granite is comprised of the original steps, re-purposed to create a rather exotic two-color scheme that matches the rose and black colors seen throughout the palace.
Beautiful newly casted black window frames, in their original design and made of concrete, now adorn most of the Palace wall which was stripped of its original cast stoned siding and filled with cement rebar to stabilize it for generations to come. A new drainage system was added along the wall and water resistant sealant was added to the tops of the walls.
The top wall rose caps will soon be decorated with a receptive inverted lotus design while the main columns will be embellished with large lotus flowers reminiscent of the original pieces that adorned the top of the wall years prior. Everything will be coated in an Exterior insulation and finishing system (EIFS) to help with insulation efficiency.
Gopisa dasa, Vice president of special projects, says of the renovations, “Having been to the first 1979 opening of the Palace of Gold, I now have the unique opportunity to bring my guru maharajas Smriti Samadhi back to its full glory. “
By Abhay Charan das