After Twenty-Seven Years and $45 Million, Taiwan Restores Ornate 19th Century Mansion

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WUFENG (AP).- Twenty-seven years in the making, the $45 million renovation of a 150-year-old Taiwanese homestead is finally nearing completion. The Lin Family Mansion — a complex of five buildings on 7.4 acres (3 hectares) — is one of Taiwan’s most important historical sites, a rare example of the ornate architectural style favored by nobles from southern China in the waning years of the Qing dynasty. The renovation has been a painstaking process, with workers facing a variety of challenges — not least a devastating earthquake — to return the 19th-century structures to their original glory. The complex in Wufeng, an hour by high-speed rail from Taipei, is expected to open to the public at the end of 2011. It sits near a scenic mountain and a lake retreat.