Skip to main content


Saving the Gingerbread District in Port-au-Prince, Haiti

The Caribbean island of Haiti, the setting of the devastating December 2009 earthquake, has a rich and unique wealth of architectural heritage in the form of their "gingerbread houses." This building form, named by American tourists in the 1970s, is composed of building types and stylistic forms which originated in France, where many of the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-century Haitian architects were trained.

Stephen J. Kelley, AIA, NCARB, and principal of Wiss, Janney, Elstner Associates, Inc., has visited Haiti twice at the request of the World Monuments Fund in order to assess the condition of the Gingerbread House Historic District in Port-au-Prince after the earthquake and collaborate on approaches to preservation. Kelly will present information on this building heritage and his work to preserve examples of it.

Programs are only 45 minutes in length, and you are welcome to bring your lunch. These lectures are made possible in part by a donation in memory of Myra Gary, Docent Class of 1999. CAF is an AIA, CES, and CCGT Green Tech U registered provider. AIA continuing education units are available for attending this lecture.

Get the WBEZ App

Download the best live and on-demand public radio experience. Find out more.