An Adventure in Albania
In September AiP volunteers from Australia, Denmark, Canada and the US spent a rewarding week in Gjirokastra, Albania, working at the Category I Babameto house. Gjirokastra, known as the city of stone, has lost almost a third of its historic tower houses! Most have been lost due to a lack of maintenance over the years and the now-daunting amount of work required to make them habitable.
Our purpose was to demonstrate that strong non-profit / community partnerships can help save these houses and bring them back to life. Our work focused on the interior of the house, specifically on a staircase in the west wing and interior plaster in two rooms – the kitchen on the ground floor and a sitting room on the floor above.
In just one week, volunteers, working side-by-side with experts from our partner organization Cultural Heritage without Borders, removed loose plaster that couldn’t be repaired, laid a rough coat of plaster in the sitting room, and uncovered the original paint scheme in the kitchen. Meanwhile, others documented the staircase before it was dismantled for cleaning and restoration and began carving a replacement support beam for it.
Gjirokastra was listed on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2005. Listing has brought international attention to both the significance and the plight of the city's buildings, and AiP volunteers are contributing significantly to the success of restoration efforts.Gjirokastra’s Tower Houses are Crumbling, But You Can Help
AiP volunteers do more than restore buildings. They support community revitalization efforts that substantially benefit the lives of their citizens. In Gjjirokastra, Albania, restoring the kulle houses not only improves living conditions, but also provides job training opportunities in one of Europe’s poorest countries. You can support this initiative by Donating Now! to AiP.Giving Thanks
Several years ago AiP was highlighted in a USA Today article about ways to put the “Thanks” in Thanksgiving. As this most American of holidays approaches, AiP would like to say “Thank You” to all our supporters and to the volunteers who joined us this year in helping communities preserve their architectural heritage and build a sustainable future.
Our volunteer vacations remain a great way to give back. Learn more about taking an active role in preserving both history and communities by volunteering at one of our projects.Conference Calendar
Sustainable Preservation: Process and Practice - December 8, 2010 - Seattle, Washington USA
45 Years of Preservation Law: New York City and the Nation, the Past and the Future - February 5, 2011 - New York, New York USA
Why Does the Past Matter? Changing Visions, Media, and Rationales in the 21st Century - May 4-7, 2011 - Amherst, Massachusetts USA
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