TAO-Pilipinas introduced historic preservation to its network partners through a workshop held on March 5, 2013 at the Mapua Institute of Technology in Intramuros. Dubbed as a “Dialogue on Historic Preservation”, the workshop was organized in collaboration with Bakás Pilipinas, a non-profit organization based in the US that promotes the preservation of historic architecture and sites in the Philippines. The Mapua School of Architecture, Industrial Design and the Built Environment co-sponsored the workshop.
Some of the participants in the workshop which includes network partners and invited guests
Attended by close to 60 participants, the workshop was carried out to respond to the results of a survey on heritage conservation that TAO-Pilipinas conducted among its NGO network partners last December. In that survey, several of its network partners expressed a need to learn more about heritage conservation as it relates to community development and urban poor issues. Among those who attended the workshop were representatives of Community Organizers Multiversity (COM); Philippine Partnership for Support Service Agencies (PHILSSA); Foundation for the Development of the Urban Poor (FDUP); Urban Poor Associates (UPA); and Socio-Pastoral Institute (SPI). Participants from the academe likewise attended, representing PUP College of Architecture and Fine Arts; UP College of Architecture; UST College of Architecture; and the UP Archaeological Studies Program.
Program and speakers
TAO-Pilipinas tapped Bakás Pilipinas as resource person. The survey results were shared with them and they designed a day-long program with topics covering the various learning needs identified in the survey. The program was divided into five major topics: Introduction to Historic Preservation; Preservation of Architectural Heritage; Preservation of Intangible Heritage; Urban Heritage Conservation; and Disaster Relief for Heritage Properties.
Presenters consisted of the Bakás Pilipinas team, namely Roz Li, retired former Principal of Li/Saltzman Architects; Cristina Paterno, Executive Director of San Sebastian Basilica Conservation and Development Fund; Pascale Montadert, Anthropologist Consultant; and Trix Rosen, Architectural Photographer. They brought to the workshop valuable knowledge and expertise gained from years of experience as historic preservationists.
Roz Li leading the team of Bakas Pilipinas in educating the workshop participants about historic preservation
Roz Li led the team in presenting the different aspects of historic preservation. She discussed the significance of historic preservation, the criteria for determining historic structures and sites, and the scale of intervention. She explained the different types of intervention from the no-intervention approach to reconstruction and replication. She gave examples of historic preservation projects to highlight these various interventions. She stressed the need to establish the preservation philosophy of a project to determine the appropriate type of intervention to be done.
Many of the projects she presented were those undertaken by her firm, including landmark preservation projects in the New York City metropolitan area that have received preservation awards. One of the most interesting projects that she featured was the Tenement Museum in New York, a tenement building which housed immigrant families in the 1860s-1930s that has been restored as a historical landmark. The building reflects early 20th century living conditions and is considered as a three-dimensional museum of housing laws development in New York City.
Ms. Li highlighted historic preservation as an interdisciplinary field, entailing the involvement of historians, architects, archaeologists, conservators/conservation scientists and anthropologists. These diverse expertise are needed throughout the preservation process, especially in the steps prior to the restoration of a historic building or site.
Urban heritage conservation was also discussed by Roz Li. She explained the various levels of landmark designation and highlighted the role of NGOs in community-based preservation projects, giving several examples of successful urban preservation projects in the US. She likewise featured projects that addressed disaster relief for heritage properties and the various funding strategies that can be tapped for preservation projects.