Flagler College’s Ideas & Images event to feature Cuba conservation expert, historic preservation architect

Dr. David Guggenheim
November 1, 2016

As part of a two-day Ideas & Images event focused on “Historic Preservation, Building Codes and Resiliency,” Cuba conservation expert Dr. David Guggenheim and Historic Preservation Architect Mary Werner DeNadai will speak on the secret to Cuba’s healthy ecosystems, and the restoration of famed author Ernest Hemingway’s home in Cuba, respectively, on Tuesday, Nov. 15.


Their talks will follow a half-day workshop that addresses the protection of cultural resources from natural disasters and hazard mitigation planning, and precedes the next day’s workshop focused on the maintenance of historic properties within codes and the challenges of sea level rise.


Guggenheim, whose talk is titled “A Living Time Machine: Cuba’s Remarkable Ocean Ecosystems and the Hope They Offer Florida and the World,” is founder and president of Ocean Doctor and director of the Cuban Conservancy in Washington, D.C. While 50 percent of the Caribbean’s corals have vanished since 1970, many of Cuba’s marine ecosystems remain healthy, teeming with endangered species seldom seen elsewhere in the Caribbean. Guggenheim will discuss this phenomena, the threat posed by the “tsunami” of Americans now pouring into the island, and what is being done to ensure that Cuba avoids the mistakes made elsewhere in the Caribbean over the past half century.


Guggenheim is in his 16th year leading research and conservation efforts in Cuba focused on coastal communities and protecting coral reef ecosystems. His work has been featured on 60 Minutes with Anderson Cooper, on the PBS Nature series and on NPR. 


DeNadai’s talk is titled “Hemingway in Havana.” Of all the places Hemingway had lived, worked and played, none had the attraction nor hold on the author than his home for 22 years outside of Cuba. Since 2005, the restoration of his beloved “Finca Vigia” (Overlook Farm) began to manifest itself with the unlikely alliance of Cubans and Americans.


DeNadai served on the professional team that advised on the restoration, preservation and conservation of the buildings, grounds, yacht “Pilar” and contents of Hemingway’s home. She is a past chairman of the Historic Preservation Board of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Trustee Emeritus of the National Trust for Historic Preservation.  In 1999, she was the recipient of the F. Otto Haas Award, Pennsylvania's highest recognition for contributions by an individual for lifetime achievement in the field of historic preservation.  In 2007, she received the James Biddle Award for Lifetime Achievement in Historic Preservation from the Preservation Alliance for Greater Philadelphia.


While the workshops and Tuesday night talks are part of the same Ideas & Images two-day event, attendance at both is not required. The workshops require registration and a fee. Visit here

for more information and to register. The Tuesday night lectures are free and open to the public and will be held at 7 p.m. in the Lewis Auditorium at Flagler College, 14 Granada Street, St. Augustine.  


This year’s Ideas & Images series is titled “Next 50 Years: Dialogue for a Global Future – Science, Heritage, Business, Technology, Education.” Additional presentations for the academic year include:


•           Tuesday, Jan. 24, 2017, Margaret Fenwick, manager of communications for the United Nations Global Compact Office in New York City, and a Flagler College graduate, Class of 1996, “Business as a Force for Good”


•           Thursday, Feb. 9, 2017, Brian Goeken, Chief, Technical Preservation Services for the National Park Service in Washington, D.C., “Preserving our Built Heritage in the 21st Century: Addressing Contemporary Challenges”


•           Wednesday, March 22, 2017, Dr. Paul Sutter, 2016 Carson Fellow with the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society and Professor of History, University of Colorado – Boulder, “Automobiles, National Parks, and the Origins of Modern Wilderness Advocacy”



For a full listing of all 2016-2017 Ideas & Image events, please visit http://www.flagler.edu/ideas.


Partners for this series are the National Park Service and its Find Your Park Centennial initiative, the Union of Concerned Scientists, the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, and the Florida Public Archaeology Network.  The series is made possible with assistance from a variety of sponsors including: the Joy McCann Foundation, St. Johns County Tourist Development Council, Florida Humanities Council, St. Johns Cultural Council, St. Johns County Visitor and Convention Bureau, Casa Monica Hotel, Margaret Domini and Flagler College Bookstore.


If you are a person with a disability and need reasonable accommodations, please contact Lynn Francisco at 904-819-6460. Sign Language Interpreters are available upon request with a minimum of three days’ notice.