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July 2010

Lamu: Preservation in a Tropical Paradise

Lamu Beach Credit: Visit KenyaWith tropical beaches complementing a distinctive blend of cultural influences, Lamu, an island in the Indian Ocean off the northern coast of Kenya, has long been a favorite destination for those in search of the extraordinary. AiP's hands-on workshop is your chance to explore and experience Old Town Lamu’s culture and heritage more closely than you would have believed possible. Working with the Lamu World Heritage Site and Conservation Office, AiP volunteers will help preserve a traditional coral rag house - as well as the art of working with coral rag.

Credit: rag construction uses blocks cut from the extinct coral reefs of ancient inland seas. The use of modern materials in repairing or expanding these traditional structures causes structural problems and destroys the architectural integrity of the World Heritage Site. With few people knowing how to work with coral rag, our workshop is a critical component of the city’s efforts to preserve traditional skills. You can support this effort by attending the workshop or contributing to AiP.

Preservation's Role in Economic Recovery

On a daily basis, we read headlines reminding us of the global economic crisis. In times like these, it’s imperative that people understand the power of preservation to boost both local and national economies.

Employment figures clearly reflect this fact. In the State of Colorado alone, between 1981 and 2004, rehabilitation activities created almost 29,000 jobs and generated a total of over $2 billion in direct and indirect economic impacts. The same source (The Economic Benefit of Historic Preservation in Colorado, 2005 update) supplies additional impressive statistics regarding heritage tourism and its impact on nearly 61,000 jobs.

Restoration work at Fort Sam Houston: is not the only one to benefit from renovation projects. Donovan Rypkema, well known for his expertise on the economics of historic preservation, cited in 2007 that for the US state of Virginia, for every $1 million spent on new construction, 32.2 jobs were created. But for the same million spent in the rehabilitation of historic buildings, 36.1 jobs were created.

AiP is working to share the many benefits of historic preservation with communities around the world. Our volunteers bring a new vision to buildings in areas in need of positive change. Our workshops provide a forum for the exchange of professional knowledge, enabling the communities where we work to develop their own long-term workforce, creating jobs that remain long after our volunteers depart.

Last Chance to Register for August's New York Workshops

Galleting at Bartow Pell Mansion Museum volunteer vacationWe have two great workshops coming up in New York in August. Both offer affordable "staycation" rates, and both are National Historic Landmarks that could use your help! Joining us is easy: read more about the masonry restoration project at the Bartow-Pell Mansion Museum and the carriage house restoration project at the Jay Heritage Center, pick your favorite, and register online. If you can't decide, sign up for both! We'd love to have you join us.

Conference Calendar

IIC Congress 2010 – Conservation and the Eastern Mediterranean, September 20-24, 2010, Istanbul, Turkey
Organized by the International Institute for for Conservation of Historic and Artistic Works, the conference will focus on the conservation of moveable and immovable heritage in or from the Eastern Mediterranean, including the care and conservation of works of art, artifacts and sites, and the preservation of architecture, all reflecting the influences that have made the region one of the world’s richest centres of heritage.

More than 40 speakers will address topics such as site and urban conservation and management, conservation and research of textiles, sculpture, leather, and manuscripts, conservation of painted interiors and decorative surfaces, conservation of mosaics, wall paintings and tomb art, and reviews of conservation history and techniques. For information, see

Escape the Daily Grind: 2010 Annual SPOOM Conference, September 29 - October 3, 2010, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
The Yates Mill partnership welcomes members of the Society for the Preservation of Old Mills (SPOOM) to an exciting agenda of pre-conference, hands-on workshops, and two full days of seminars and mill tours for your education and enjoyment. There will also be lots of interesting alternatives for those family members who attend. For information, see

APT Conference: Layers Across Time - Preserving a Diverse Western Heritage, October 6-9, 2010, Denver, Colorado, USA
The theme of APT's annual conference, Layers Across Time - Preserving a Diverse Western Heritage, evokes an appreciation of the rich heritage of the American West, spanning over 12,000 years. This conference will examine the history of the built environment through materials, building typologies, patterns of growth and the future of preservation through sustainable design. For information, see

Upcoming Workshops

Galleting Galore in the Garden, Bronx, New York

Caring for the Carriage House, Rye, New York

Cottage Industry: Saving Slovenia's Architectural and Ethnological Heritage

Keeping Tower Houses from Crumbling, Gjirokastra, Albania

Re-Discovering the Soul of Swahili Tradition, Lamu, Kenya


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