Albania: Preservation Supports Sustainable Economy

by Adventures in Preservation (AiP)
May 14, 2012

One Man, One House, a City's Future

Nesip Skenduli works tirelessly for preservation
Nesip Skenduli works tirelessly for preservation

As Albania strives to dig its way out of the depths of economic disaster, one man in Gjirokastra is devoting himself to saving his house for the purpose of fostering heritage tourism – the one means of saving his community.

Often in harsh situations, individuals step up to meet the challenges facing their communities. Nesip Skenduli is just such a person. He has become the lone steward of the massive stone tower house built by his family that is a cornerstone of Gjirokastra’s heritage tourism program.

During Communism from 1944-1981, the Skendulis shared the house with seven other families. At this point Hoxha’s Communist government claimed the house for use as an Ethnographic Museum. Not until 1993 was the house returned to Nesip Skenduli, along with the overwhelming responsibility for its repair and maintenance.

Many families left their massive stone houses to collapse. But Mr. Skenduli refused to do this, using any amount left from his small paycheck to cover urgent repairs. He has spent many hours before and after work, taking visitors on tours of the amazing house often for no fee. His goal is to see the house become –

  • Site of hands-on preservation training classes
  • Premier attraction of city walking tour
  • Available for drawing classes and community events
  • Site of wedding ceremonies and/or photographs

Nesip Skenduli states his wish is to once again bring life into the house. Join AiP in September 2012; work alongside Mr. Skenduli and the AiP team as we aim to make one man’s dream of returning his town to a vital community come true.

Visitors from Australia tour house w/ Mr. Skenduli
Visitors from Australia tour house w/ Mr. Skenduli
First drawing class held on Skenduli balcony
First drawing class held on Skenduli balcony



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Organization Information

Adventures in Preservation (AiP)

Location: Boulder, Colorado - USA
Website: http:/​/​​
Project Leader:
Judith Broeker
Boulder, Colorado United States

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Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

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