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Ice Palace

Today in the Word, August 4, 1993

On November 25, 1895, a cornerstone of ice was laid in Leadville, Colorado&md;the beginning of the largest ice palace ever built in America. In an effort to bolster the town's sagging economy, the citizens staged a winter carnival. On New Year's Day of 1896, the town turned out for the grand opening. The immense palace measured 450 x 320 feet. The towers that flanked the entrance were 90 feet high. Inside was a 16,000-square-foot skating rink. But by the end of March the palace was melting away, along with the hopes of Leadville. The thousands of visitors had spent very little.