Phase One of the measuring and documenting of listed buildings within Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison has been completed and the second segment is currently under way.
This disclosure has come from Chief Town Planner, Mark Cummins, who is also Chairman of the Barbados World Heritage Committee.
He told a press briefing yesterday that 18 buildings were measured and documented in phase one, while 10 of the 20 listed buildings had been completed in the second part of the project.
He stated: ???There are 115 listed buildings within Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison and our intention is, over a five-year period, to have all of those buildings measured and documented.???
The work is being carried out by a specialty team of architects, planners, historians, engineers and other professionals to ensure the authorities have the relevant details on the buildings.
Mr. Cummins disclosed that four new buildings would be listed shortly in the UNESCO World Heritage Property. The first set of listed buildings was published in the Official Gazette in 1984 and in order to qualify for the list, a building must have some special architectural or historical significance.
The Chief Town Planner said the necessary framework had been put in place to ensure the authenticity and integrity of the buildings were maintained, so the outstanding universal value was not threatened. However, he expressed some disappointment at the state of disrepair of some of the buildings.
???But, I am confident that the recent Task Force for the Preservation of Barbados??? Built Heritage, put in place by the Ministry of Culture, has identified some buildings that they will seek to have restored,??? he stated.
He disclosed that there was an application in the Town and Country Development Planning Office for the Empire Theatre to be transformed into a 260-seat theatre along with a craft brewery.
He noted that significant work had been done by the Ministry of Culture, the University of the West Indies and the Barbados Museum and Historical Society to educate primary and secondary school teachers about the heritage property.
???As I speak, there is a programme ongoing with the Ministry, the Barbados Community College and the Samuel Jackman Prescod Polytechnic to train some of our young men and women on restoration techniques. We also have a local person who is trained at the Master???s level in the restoration of metals; so quite a bit has been done since our inscription,??? Mr. Cummins stressed.
Historic Bridgetown and its Garrison was officially inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Property in June 2012.