Caribbean Conversations in Conservation Go Online!

The Local Organising Committee (LOC) of the UWI/ OAS Caribbean Heritage Network (CHN) Caribbean Conversations in Conservation series is pleased to announce that it will move forward with a virtual/ online programme starting Thursday, April 15, 2021. We are organising monthly sessions that will take the Caribbean Conversation about Conservation Online! The original programme of this multi-disciplinary, practical conference was postponed in March 2020 due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Conference organisers were hoping to deliver a face-to-face conference over the course of 2020 but that was not possible due to the changing nature of the pandemic. However, we are pleased to bring you a series of online engagements based on the original conference programme with some new featured sessions. The CHN is committed to bringing together heritage professionals from across the Caribbean region to discuss the challenges and opportunities in heritage conservation. We are pleased to welcome archaeologists, architects, engineers, archivists, and museum professionals to a series of milestone capacity building exercises for the region’s professionals to gain knowledge and experience in the area of conservation. We are particularly pleased to have the support of our partners the Barbados Museum and Historical Society and ICOM Barbados.

We kick off the series on Thursday, April 15, 2021 marking ICOMOS International Day for Monuments and Sites (April 18) with our first seminar: "A Holistic Approach to Heritage Conservation in the Greater Caribbean: Case Studies from Jamaica". Join Brent Fortenberry, Clive Dawson and Peregrine Bryant for a discussion on conservation efforts in Jamaica. Register now:

Please see the programme:

"A Holistic Approach to Heritage Conservation in the Greater Caribbean: Case Studies from Jamaica"

Chair: Dr. Tara Inniss, Director, UWI/ OAS Caribbean Heritage Network

Thursday, April 15, 2021 at 10 am (Jamaica)/ 11 am (Barbados)/ 4 pm (GMT)

1. Dr. Brent Russell Fortenberry, Texas A&M University, "Using Digital Documentation and Visualization for Conditions Assessments of Historical Buildings"

ABSTRACT: Digital tools such as laser scanning, ground- and aerial-based photogrammetry, and portable structured light scanning are quickly becoming integral parts of historic preservation and conservation. Their ability to rapidly and accurately visualization historic structures for as-built and documentation drawings saves time and resources. But their benefit beyond visualization has yet to be fully explored by heritage conservationists. In this presentation I explore the potential for using digital tools to map architectural conditions on a 19th-century barracks in Spanish Town, Jamaica. This digital conditions map contains detailed materials information, beyond what would be available in a traditional H-BIM model, and allows for conservators to locate and manage the agents of decay on standing fabric. This digital data ultimately served as a departure point for conservation rehabilitation of this site, and a new tool to engage with the digital fabric for architects, engineers, and stakeholders.

2. Mr. Clive James Dawson, Hockley and Dawson Engineering (UK), "Heritage Conservation and Engineering Challenges in the Caribbean"

ABSTRACT: While architectural conservators and architects provide important components of heritage conservation and rehabilitation efforts, the engineering aspects of historic buildings are equally critical to the success of projects. This presentation details the challenges of historic building engineering using the Spanish Town barracks project as a case study. Using the digital model as a departure point I discuss the manifold challenges of maintaining historic fabric while at the same time making the structure usable for the Spanish Town High School (the property’s owners). The challenges of rehabilitating the barracks is a microcosm of the wider engineering challenges facing historic buildings in the Caribbean. Additional case studies from Jamaica will highlight other creative solutions to historic building stabilization and conservation.

3. Peregrine Bryant, Peregrine Bryant Architects, "Heritage Conservation Challenges in Falmouth and Spanish Town, Jamaica"

ABSTRACT: While targeted projects to rehabilitate historic buildings are vital to preserving architectural character of the historic built environment, the wider pressures on historic buildings and landscapes needs to be considered. This presentation details the challenges of heritage conservation in urban environments in the Caribbean using Falmouth and Spanish Town Jamaica as case studies. The success of local heritage conservation training, particularly Falmouth Heritage Renewal, will be discussed as a model for building local capacity through expert training, university field schools, and a dedicated group of local and international experts and practitioners. Through this framework historic buildings were rehabilitated throughout the northern port town in the face of rising developmental pressures from tourism and real estate. Similar challenges face Spanish Town as historic structures need conservation and rehabilitation as a part of a renewed historic building infrastructure. Efforts in Jamaica can be used a template for the development of resources and capacities to undertake industry-grade architectural conservation work in the region.