Adobe Preservation Unites Students, Generations and Cultures

March 23, 2016

Text by Cindy Rupp Valdez

For more than 20 years, a multidisciplinary partnership has come together to ­ensure that some of North America’s most treasured adobe structures remain in place for the public to enjoy. The partnership involves the National Parks Service, Mexico’s Instituto Nacional de Antropología e Historia, or INAH, New Mexico’s Cornerstones Community Partnerships, and the University of Arizona's Missions Initiative and Drachman Institute under the administration of the UA’s Heritage Conservation Program.

At the center of the partnership is a series of hands-on workshops on adobe construction, building assessment and preservation treatment. The sessions are communicated in English and Spanish and are for experts and novices alike. The workshop, called Taller Internacional de Conservación y Restauración de Arquitectura de Tierra, or TICRAT, is held in the United States and Mexico in alternating years. Tumacácori National Historical Park in southern Arizona hosted a workshop March 14-18 that drew 56 participants, including 13 students from six universities. Five of the students were from the UA's College of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture.   


During this year’s TICRAT, R. Brooks Jeffery, director of the Drachman Institute and chair of the Heritage Conservation Program, received the Director's Award from the National Parks Service, recognizing his 14-year partnership with the NPS and support of TICRAT. 

"Our students are the real winners by engaging with NPS, developing professional skills and becoming the next-generation stewards of our cultural resources," Jeffery said.