The Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage to Restore the Hope Waddell Wooden Storey Building in Calabar
In commemoration of the International Day of Monuments and Sites on April 18, the Foundation for the Preservation of Cultural Heritage in Nigeria has announced that it had gotten international funding to restore and return to use the iconic Premier Building at Hope Waddell Training Institution, Calabar.
The one-storey building built in 1894, is said to be one of the earliest known examples of educational buildings erected by missionaries in Nigeria.
FOPCHEN said it was “excited to work on this project because of its significant historical, architectural, and educational value and the commitment of Hope Waddell proprietors (the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria), the school administration, and the alumni executive of the institution to see this building restored and return to use.”
A history professor at the State University of New York, Cortland, and the Program Director/ Principal Investigator, Bekeh Ukelina, regarding the project said “the restoration of this building is long overdue. It is not enough for it to be listed as a national monument.
Previous interventions were carried out by the Hope Waddell Training Institution alumni, who raised funds and put supporting steel beams to hold the first floor of the building and prevented the building from collapsing.
The lead heritage architect on the project, Dr Tokie Laotan-Brown, said the first step of the project was to “do an architectural survey and document the building to determine the appropriate action plan and rehabilitation activities.