Adventures in Preservation (AiP)

Adventures in Preservation (AiP) envisions a world where people use, understand, and appreciate historic buildings that are vital to economic and environmental sustainability and preserve cultural identity. AiP organizes international volunteer-based projects which provide educational training in preservation issues and technical skills, preserve and restore heritage sites essential to cultural identity, and support sustainable economic development through heritage tourism and job creation. Adventures in Preservation's mission: Connecting people and preservation through enriching experiential programs that safeguard heritage and foster community sustainability.
Dec 4, 2014

Roof Repair VITAL to Protect Ongoing Conservation Efforts

Koloi house waits for tlc with roof deteriorating
Koloi house waits for tlc with roof deteriorating

A house is only as strong as its roof, and a damaged roof can spell disaster for any house, new or old. Incredibly, the massive stone tower houses of Gjirokastra – 3 million stones strong – can be taken down by heavy rains in just one year if the roof is not sound.

Adventures in Preservation has been providing volunteers and technical assistance for conservation work at the Skenduli house for the past three years. Yet, the roof still has problems and there is no money available locally to complete repairs. This puts all the conservation work completed up to this point at risk. We can no longer relegate roof repair to our To Do list!

Please consider making a donation for the Skenduli house roof repair project. As the roof is repaired using traditional techniques, we will be showing other home and business owners that traditional repair is best for their historic building. This will lead to the creation of addition jobs for roofers and bring young local residents into the trade.

Crossing this item off our list will allow critical conservation work that is on hold – decorative woodwork repair, plaster repair, and the restoration of rare wall paintings – to get underway when AiP returns to the site in May of next year.

The project is already proving its worth. Tourists visit regularly, contributing to the steadily growing heritage tourism industry that is the path to improving the standard of living for this region.

Gjirokastra’s architectural heritage is vital to the people of Albania, and it is also a part of the common world heritage we all share. The loss of the Skenduli house would be a huge blow to the people of Gjirokastra and the people around the world who have worked so hard to save it.

Please donate today. One great way to make a donation AND experience the adventure of a lifetime is to join us in Gjirokastra in May! If making a donation online is best for you, we’ll keep you informed of all the great progress with photos that will make you feel like you’re there. Join our efforts!

Koloi house runs out of time
Koloi house runs out of time
Workers still practice traditional roofing methods
Workers still practice traditional roofing methods
Almost done!
Almost done!

Links:

Oct 2, 2014

Eleven Conservators from Five Countries Donate Time & Talents

AiP volunteers document damaged wall paintings
AiP volunteers document damaged wall paintings

Last week, a report came in from Deborah, an architect and one of AiP’s September session volunteers at the Skendli house in Gjirokastra.

Many groups of tourists continue to pass through the Skenduli house. Edlira (Mr. Skenduli’s daughter) gave tours all day! Her sons are the 11th generation of Skendulis to play in the courtyard. We are meeting the tourists and taking the opportunity to tell them about the project and AIP.

Debbie provided us with proof that the project is helping to create economic growth in Gjirokastra. Tourists are drawn to the site to see ongoing skills training and building conservation efforts and are eager to explore the architectural history being preserved. Your support is allowing conservation work at the Skenduli house and other historic buildings to continue, and these efforts are boosting the local economy, bringing tourist dollars and creating jobs.

In the past two weeks, eleven professional conservators from five countries completed testing, assessment and 3D laser scanning of the entire Skenduli house to detect and record any remnants of wall paintings. The group worked all weekend, and at times through the night!, to scan and assess the condition of two additional houses in danger of collapsing. All these professionals donated their time and even provided additional funding.

The May session will build on September’s results and begin conservation of the fragile remains of exterior wall paintings. Albanian students as well as international volunteers will receive training. Donations provide trainees from Albania with scholarships to cover their expenses while they learn their country’s traditions in wall painting. They will then use these old traditional skills, newly learned, to continue work at the Skenduli house and begin documentation at a nearby house.

Please continue your generous support to help us reach two goals: completion of vital roof repairs prior to the May session; and initiation of planning for the next stage of work preserving massive amounts of exterior and interior wood detailing – another tradition nearly lost.

We’re so happy to have you on board for this journey. With your support, we’ll continue to give 120% until our goals are achieved!

SAM professionals from Italy donate time&expertise
SAM professionals from Italy donate time&expertise
Conservator from London documents decorative paint
Conservator from London documents decorative paint
Part of volunteer team in Skenuli house courtyard
Part of volunteer team in Skenuli house courtyard
Tower house in danger of collapsing-next project?
Tower house in danger of collapsing-next project?

Links:

Jul 8, 2014

Professional Interest Piques in Skills Training

J O
J O'Connell is a project instructor from Australia

If you’ve been supporting AiP’s hands-on educational program in Albania, or if you’ve been thinking about joining our group of supporters, here’s another reason you’ll be proud to be part of the team.

Adventures in Preservation’s September project created so much buzz among building conservation professionals, that registration for the 2-week session has reached its maximum! The group of 14 – including four from Albania – will use their expertise and learn new skills to find hidden wall paintings and document their findings in preparation for May 2015.

The May session will initiate the restoration of paintings and is open to both students and professionals in the fields of building conservation, art conservation and related fields. The tradition of decorative wall painting, as seen at the Skenduli house, is becoming a lost art, and our volunteers plan to reverse this trend. Your donations will help provide scholarships for students, as well as cover the cost of some materials.

Saving traditions such as the Albanian style of wall paintings is vital to the continued growth of the country's heritage tourism initiatives. These amazing historic houses are the key resource in building a viable economy. Our partnership with Albania’s Institute of Cultural Monuments has allowed AiP and our volunteers to make great progress at the Skenduli house. But without our partnership with you, as a supporter, none of the work would be possible.

We appreciate your continuing generosity which has created such positive results. Our next report will fill you in on September events with plenty of photos to give you the inside story on work at the Skenduli house.

See you then!

Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Modern layer of paint hides original colors
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures
Whitewashed walls hide uncovered treasures

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