Hulihee Palace repairs under way
What ever happened to repairs at Kona's Hulihee Palace, which suffered $1.5 million damage in the Oct. 15, 2006, earthquakes?
Answer: The palace was completed in 1838 for Big Island Gov. John Adams Kuakini, but it is being restored to its appearance about 1885, when King Kalakaua returned from Europe and Japan with ideas about what a royal building should look like.
Kalakaua enlarged lanais, placed exterior stucco over lava stones and added decorative moldings. Some of this is highly specialized work.
John Canning Studios of Connecticut is now using "natural hydraulic lime" to repair the stucco, said company spokesman Dave Riccio.
The specialty lime is quarried in France. It is used because it is permeable, "breathes" and is flexible when dry, he said.
Interior plastering is being done by Sarel Venter of West Virginia, who mixes a little regular cement with the hydraulic lime to speed the curing process.
To repair a large crack in the 3-foot-thick south wall, stones are removed, cleaned and then reset with mortar made from the special lime, said Karl Kamada, of Affiliated Construction in Honolulu.
On the north wall gable, just under the roof, termite-damaged support posts are being strengthened by Stan's Contracting of Honolulu with new posts beside the old ones.
The repairs are expected to be finished in about a year.
Chef Sam Choy plans a fundraiser for the palace at the Sheraton Keauhou Bay Resort on Oct. 18, and donations may be made to the Hulihee Restoration Fund at 75-5718 Alii Drive, Kailua-Kona, HI 96740.
This update was written by Rod Thompson.
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