Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban estate, preservation efforts

Ernest Hemingway’s Cuban estate, preservation efforts

(October 23, 2017) -- Center for Cultural Sustainability Director William A. Dupont, returning from his milestone 25th visit to Cuba, happily reports the collections and artifacts of American writer Ernest Hemingway remain unharmed in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.

Dupont—the San Antonio Conservation Society Endowed Professor at UTSA’s College of Architecture, Construction and Planning—leads the U.S. Technical Team advising Cuban colleagues on preservation issues at Finca Vigía, Hemingway’s estate on the outskirts of Havana.

Despite being a category 5 storm when it hit Cuba in September, Irma caused little more damage to Finca Vigía than a few felled trees.

In addition to weathering the storm, the estate continues to make progress toward the building of an on-site laboratory for housing and protecting papers and other effects Hemingway left behind.

Following the historic arrival in 2016 of materials for the new facility’s construction—which was one of the first legal shipments of material goods between the U.S. and Cuba in decades—a second container of construction materials arrived at the estate prior to Professor Dupont’s most recent visit. Team members from Michigan's The Christman Company were on hand to oversee distribution of the materials and provide training on installation methods. Mary-Jo Adams, Executive Director of the Finca Vigia Foundation, was present to coordinate project activities with Cuban officials.