Attendees view the Noah's Ark replica during a VIP and media preview day at the Ark Encounter theme park in Williamstown, Kentucky, U.S., on Tuesday, July 5, 2016. Ken Ham, president of Answers in Genesis of Kentucky Inc., and his group created a full-scale replica of Noah's Ark to match its description in the bible. The massive 510-foot wooden ship has cost an estimate of over $100 million to produce. Photographer: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images
The center of Ark Encounter is a five-story, 500-foot boat built out of wood that cost $100 million and can hold up to 10,000 people.
To create this massive ship, Answers in Geneis turned to the Indiana-based Troyer Group, who bill themselves as “Heavy Timber Experts.” The lead architect Leroy Troyer notes he “grew up in the northern Indiana Amish community, and I had lots of experience as a boy growing up, and had a lot of experience in barn building,” all of which was put to use by this project.
Indeed, the Amish proved to be essential to the project, as Troyer says they wound up getting help from 15 Amish communities located in multiple states.
The project differs from Noah’s original Ark in some relatively trivial ways: For instance, it’s unlikely Noah offered either a 700-person restaurant or gift shop. There’s also a more significant difference: This Ark does not float.
That noted, it was a conscious decision to make the boat unseaworthy: Troyer says that, according to Genesis, the Lord has promised never to flood the world again, allowing them not to worry about that concern.
To read more about the Ark’s construction, click here. To visit Ark Encounter (adult tickets start at $40), click here.