After the devastating magnitude 7.8 earthquake that struck Kathmandu in 2015, the United States Embassy in Nepal founded the Gaddi Baithak Restoration Project to make a case for the palace to be repaired and restored instead of abandoning it for eventual demolition. About one-third of Nepal’s culturally significant heritage buildings (137) were completely destroyed in the earthquake. Another 444 were severely damaged. The project was the perfect fit for Miyamoto Relief because part of our mission is saving heritage buildings from earthquake damage.
The Gaddi Baithak neoclassical palace sits on the UNESCO World Heritage Site in Durbar Square. Nepal’s kings were once crowned and legitimized here and used the palace to welcome heads of state and other high-ranking foreign guests.
The project was one of the first cultural restoration and retrofit projects post-earthquake and became the first neoclassical building to be restored, structurally strengthened and repaired in the country. Because of this, the project defined engineering practices and methods that will constitute Nepal Department of Archaeology (DoA) guidelines for future retrofitting of this type of historical building. The entire project was generously funded by a grant from the U.S. Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation. The implementing partner was Miyamoto Relief.