Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Del Keam meets with Master Craftsmen

Delegate Keam with Master Craftsmen
Yesterday Delegate Mark Keam (35th Virginia House District) visited Meadowlark Botanical Gardens in Vienna Virginia where the Korean Bell Garden is being create. Delegate Keam saw the site of the garden where the foundation is already in place for the traditional pavilion that will hold the large cast iron bell in the center of a uniquely Korean garden.

He also met with the special carpenter/artists that have come from Korea to build this pavilion in the same way traditional structures have been built there for thousands of years. These craftsmen have shaped every piece of what will be the pavilion from raw wood. It will all fit together without the assistance of a single nail. Beautiful carvings of birds and flowers have all been formed by hand, and it will be topped with special tiles shipped in from Korea.

The pavilion will be complete sometime in late September and the bell should be on site in early 2011. Already over 100 Korean trees have been planted and stone brought in to create an area that looks like the gardens seen in ancient Korean palaces.

This project is being funded by the Korean American Cultural Committee, with private donations and financial support from the Republic of Korea.

When  complete this site will be a tourist destination for the Northern Virginia area. Already tourism is the #2 industry in Virginia. There are direct flights everyday from Dulles Airport to Korea, this bell garden will provide an important draw to encourage people to come to Meadowlark Garden and see this unique site, and will certainly help the business community in the surrounding area.  There are two similar bells on the West Coast, but this will be the first Korean Bell Garden in North America.

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