Dunmore Town to be Regional Model for Identifying Historic Districts
Nassau, Bahamas, September 9, 2015— The quaint community of Dunmore Town on Harbour Island is proposed to become an internationally recognized historic district. During a recent three-day workshop held in the community, Antiquities, Monuments and Museums Corporation (AMMC) officials signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the OAS-funded COHERIT group to begin the project.
In 2014, COHERIT invited AMMC to select a community which met the criteria for the National Register of Historic Resources.
“Dunmore Town is a natural fit for this project based on the heritage resources available in this community, the demographics and the commitment from residents to assist with a project of this magnitude,” said Dr. Keith Tinker, Director at AMMC. “Through this partnership with COHERIT, we are better able to set up a model which other communities in the region can use as a benchmark to register similar historic districts. We are pleased to advance this initiative and look forward to sharing best practices in the registration and preservation of national heritage assets.”
Gustavo Araoz, COHERIT’s Project Director was on hand for the signing of the MOU and fully endorsed AMMC’s selection. The overall goal of the OAS-sponsored project is to protect cultural heritage assets in the Caribbean by enhancing its sustainability and socio-economic potential.
In endorsing the selection of Dunmore Town, Araoz noted “After analyzing the social composition, the demographics and the heritage resources, Harbour Island was by far the most preferable of the options considered. Its resources reflect an equally diverse range of heritage resources and places. This coincides with the OAS project objective to involve and empower communities in identifying and taking an active part in protecting the heritage properties that are dear to the local stakeholder communities.”
AMMC’s Senior Historic Preservation Architect/Consultant Alicia Oxley said that COHERIT’s selection of The Bahamas as one of six countries in the Caribbean to participate was based on an advanced inventory and registration process for historic sites already put in place by the Corporation.
“As an extension of the project, the country will partner with a country with a less developed inventory, to share our experience and best practices in applying the model that the Bahamas’ Register is based on—the US National Register of Historic Places. To this end, the Bahamas will assist St. Kitts,” Oxley explained.
The 3-day workshop on Harbour Island brought together officials from AMMC, OAS, an historic director from St. Kitts and a cross section of community leaders from the immediate area. The group discussed criteria for evaluating sites and resources.
“We intend to follow up with the participants to ensure that their enthusiasm is sustained. Ultimately we want to create a unique partnership to benefit both the Harbour Island community and our efforts to up keep AMMC’s National Register of Historic Resources. We hope to take this community outreach program to other communities throughout the islands of The Bahamas,” said Oxley.