The Center for Research and Conservation of Cultural Heritage began a series of studies to determine whether three bridges with stone arches, located in Santo Domingo de Heredia, can be declared historical-architectural heritage of the country.
The inspection was a pending task due to the difficulty of access; However, with the support of the General Fire Department, the institution’s architect, Marcia Briceño, managed to descend vertically to the bases of the structures, supported by a harness and hanging from ropes.
“This type of collaboration between institutions is extremely important to overcome the limitations of existing resources, as in this case, the lack of resources as specific as the safety equipment for the vertical descent,” explained Diego Meléndez, director of the Center.
He added that this type of process requires taking photographs, recording the construction technique used and other details that would not have been possible without the equipment provided by Firefighters.
Declaration carries several criteria
The technical study is the first step in the declaration process, which in the case of the two bridges located over the Tibás River and one over the Bermúdez River, will be in charge of the historian Sonia Gómez and the architect Briceño. Both professionals must determine the architectural, contextual-spatial, authenticity, symbolic and cultural values, according to the Law of Historical Architectural Heritage of Costa Rica.
Subsequently, the results of this analysis are presented to the National Commission for Historical-Architectural Heritage (CNPHA). If this supports the declaration, the owner is notified to know his criteria.
The assessment and signature of the Minister of Culture and Youth, as well as the President of the Republic, is the last step in the declaration as historical-architectural heritage of a property. These types of declarations avoid the demolition or intervention in the structures, which can cause damage to their historical fabric or integrity.