Date of Award

5-2013

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Legacy Department

Historic Preservation

Advisor

Stiefel, Dr. Barry

Committee Member

Ellis, Dr. Clifford

Committee Member

Leifeste, Amalia

Abstract

The principle question asked in this thesis is can widespread historic preservation occur in Falmouth, Jamaica without improvements to the town's urban environment? The question will be answered by researching the condition of Falmouth's historic district in light of its history, economic decline and current challenges. Background analysis revealed that the town has been economically stagnant for more than a century, that this weakness has incidentally allowed it to retain the largest collection of Georgian-era structures in the Caribbean, but has also led to a continuing decline in the condition of historic resources faster than preservation efforts can provide remediation. Additionally, recent attempts to resuscitate the town's economy through the construction of a cruise ship terminal have failed and will, in fact, accelerate the deterioration of the historic district unless changes are made. After a series of interviews, research and fieldwork in Falmouth, the conclusion was reached that the state of the town's urban environment is much to blame for its weak economy. The environment also reduces quality of life standards for residents and has led to the failure of the cruise terminal to have a more positive impact on the town. Unless Falmouth's urban environment is improved, its economy will either remain the same or worsen and, as a result, substantial preservation of its historic resources will not take place. In response, a series of issues are identified which have a significant effect on the condition of the town's urban environment. A set of recommendations are then offered designed to mitigate the identified issues and play a role in improving the town's economy and the lives of its residents, creating a more equitable and sustainable tourism industry and, in the end, aiding in the widespread preservation of the town's historic resources.

Share

COinS