News Release

Tumacácori to Continue Conservation Project Inside Historic Mission Church

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Date: July 21, 2017
Contact: Alex Lim, 520-377-5091

Tumacácori National Historical Park is hosting a summer field team from the University of Pennsylvania to continue work on the conservation of original plasters and painted finishes inside the San José de Tumacácori Mission church. The work is a five-year collaborative project, now in its second year.

The Architectural Conservation Laboratory of the University of Pennsylvania, specialists in research on and field treatment of earthen architecture, will return to Tumacácori from July 31 through August 18. The University of Pennsylvania has previously worked on Franciscan missions in Texas and California, and Dominican missions in Puerto Rico. They first worked with the National Park Service at Tumacácori in 2014, when they performed emergency treatment of the church façade.

This year, conservators from Tumacácori and the University of Pennsylvania will focus on the east wall of the nave. Scaffolding will limit visitor access to parts of the church interior during the project, but the church will remain open and accessible via a side entrance, through the sacristy. During field work this past winter, the team tested a new method to strengthen the lime plaster which coats the adobe walls. Currently, the team is testing the injection of mud grout into cracks to address structural weaknesses in the adobe.

Through this project, Tumacácori and the University of Pennsylvania see huge potential to engage professionals in related fields in both the United States and Mexico, and to train conservation students in the delicate work of heritage conservation. Tumacácori is currently seeking additional funding to host conservators and students from the U.S. and Mexico to foster collaboration and education.

For more information or to arrange a special conservation tour, contact Alex Lim, Architectural Conservator, at 520-377-5091, or e-mail us.

Last updated: July 22, 2017

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