The U.S. Department of State supports the renovation of Maison Gauthier

The U.S. Department of State supports the renovation of Maison Gauthier

through the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation Program

Port-au-Prince – The U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince is pleased to announce the award of a $200,000 grant to the Fondation Maison Gauthier for the restoration and rehabilitation of the former home of Viviane Gauthier.  This grant is from the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation (AFCP) established by the U.S. Congress in 2001 to support the preservation of cultural sites, cultural objects, and forms of traditional cultural expression around the world.  Since 2002, Haiti has received over $500,000 in grants to fund nine unique cultural heritage preservation projects around the country.

Rare and important, Maison Gauthier represents both the life of the celebrated doyenne of Haitian folkloric dance, Viviane Gauthier and one of the finest examples of gingerbread architecture in Haiti.  The Fondation Viviane Gauthier was established in October 2015 for the sole purpose of restoring the villa and sustaining it as a place to teach and promote Haitian folkloric dance while celebrating the life of Madame Gauthier.

This Gingerbread structure of wood and timber is located in the heart of the historic district. It is an example of the rich but endangered building heritage of Haiti.  Therefore, the restoration will not only highlight the lifestyle of those with “Gingerbread homes”, but will also demonstrate their ongoing resiliency and adaptability for future success in Haiti.

The restoration of this century-old house is an important and necessary contribution to the Gingerbread revitalization process. It will play a leading role in the renewal of the Historic District of Port-au-Prince and will follow the historic restorations of Maison Dufort and Maison Chenet, executed by FOKAL from 2012-2018. This architectural project will also serve as a school-site for students in Architecture and Civil Engineering Haitians and foreigners.

This new AFCP grant is yet another investment in preserving Haiti’s past, and also an investment in securing Haiti’s future.  As sites like this one are restored, they create additional tourist destinations in Haiti, which contribute to economic growth.  Haiti has enormous promise as a premier tourist destination, not least because of the rich history and culture this building represents.  The United States is proud to stand as a partner with Maison Gauthier in this endeavor.

This new AFCP grant is another investment in the preservation of Haiti’s past and an investment in securing Haiti’s future. As Ambassador Sison said, “When we preserve buildings like these, we not only preserve the unique heritage of the country, but we also create more tourism opportunities that contribute to economic growth.”

The Ambassadors Fund for Cultural Preservation provides direct grant support for the preservation of cultural heritage sites in countries worldwide.  AFCP is the U.S. Government’s most significant cultural preservation initiative abroad and since 2001, it has supported over 1,000 projects to preserve cultural heritage in more than 130 countries.

For more information, visit the Ambassador’s Fund for Cultural Preservation’s page.