Preservation architect comes back to museum

| 28/09/2008

(CNS): With the return of Historic Preservation Architect Patricia Green (left) more work was underway at the Cayman Islands National Museum last week. Green was first invited to Cayman in the months following Hurricane Ivan to assess the Museum building and make recommendations and since then she has been a frequent visitor the islands and a crucial part in the museum restoration project.

 

Part of Green’s work has included preparing “as-built” drawings of the completed building; recommending the “look and feel” of exterior refurbishing of the Museum cafe; and assessing the importance to the Museum of the ongoing “Old Gaol” research and architectural preservation projects.

During her most recent visit Green paid close attention to the wattle and daub conservation work that has been undertaken by the museum team and she described the work of the craftsmen as evidence of the uniquely Caymanian vernacular architecture. “While we have these traditions throughout the Caribbean, when I work in a new place I consult with the local crafts people to ensure that we get the indigenous traditional nuances right,” she said.

While visiting this time she also explained the reason behind some of the changes on the project. Green said that unforeseen changes are inevitably made during refurbishing of any historic building. The Museum Gift Shop had originally been situated in the Old Gaol, but with the discovery of historic graffiti on the walls, the site is now being preserved as one of the Islands’ premiere archeological sites.  Consequently, the Gift Shop has had to be relocated.  Configuration of rooms has also changed, and in some cases decisions were taken to add features, such as the addition of a viewing panel to display the underground cistern located below the audio-visual room.

The museum will enjoy a soft opening in November but will formally open, with all exhibits in place, in January 2009.

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