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Haiti's Gingerbread Neighborhood among 2020 World Monuments Watch



The World Monuments Fund has placed the Gingerbread Neighborhood (Bois Verna) of Port-au-Prince, Haiti among its 25 iconic and monumental sites of great historical significance and contemporary social impact. By this designation, the organization is going to put donations towards working with the local community to protect the cultural heritage.

The WMF writes in its introductory on this 2020-named site:

The elegant, turn-of-the century “gingerbread” houses of Port-au-Prince, detailed with fretted wood and intricate latticework, constitute a uniquely Haitian architectural heritage and an important example of a post-colonial building style. In addition to serving as emblems of Haiti’s rich past, they have become symbolic of the country’s rebuilding after the devastating earthquake of January 2010. To the Haitian people they are reminders of a time of prosperity and creativity, and their survival in Port-au-Prince is an inspiration for a future when Haiti will flourish once again.

The Gingerbread neighborhood has made the list before in 2010 and 2012. Restoration to a few key buildings was undertaken with the assistance of the Fondation Connaissance et Liberté (FOKAL), the Haitian Education and Leadership Program (HELP), ICOMOS, and additional support from the Prince Claus Fund.