Haiti's Gingerbread Houses to become a Cultural Heritage District
The Bois-Verna neighborhood in Port-au-Prince holds 200 Gingerbread houses. They are called such due to ornate latticework, winding around the circumference of the structures' features. Gingerbread houses can endure Haiti's torrid weather. Tall ceilings and turrets direct stagnant hot air upwards, and windows surrounding the house produce a cooling breeze.
To make Gingerbreads a tourist attraction, Lorraine Mangonès, FOKAL Executive Director, and Gingerbread Project Manager, Farah Hyppolite, want to turn the quasi-Victorian structures into a cultural heritage district. To renovate the venerable houses will cost somewhere between $5 MM to $10 MM. But Haitian law does not state Gingerbreads can be registered in a national registry. What this means is an owner can put the house up for sale or raze it.
But FOKAL is pushing to convert Gingerbread Mile into a cultural and tourist attraction. They estimate they can accomplish enough work in five years to build momentum and attract private investment.
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