“This project’s idea is that the restoration of two significant buildings from the Danish era will create the framework for future training of craftsmen and on that basis, foundation for a National museum.”
In 1917 Denmark sold the Virgin Island to the United States. The Centennial Legacy Project, "In Search of Identity" is a collaborative, cultural heritage project between the Danish NGO Historic Houses, representatives of the Government of the Virgin Islands, local enthusiasts and the Danish schools of Architecture of Copenhagen and Aarhus.
“In search of Identity” contributes to a closer, future cooperation between Denmark and USVI in the areas of culture, education and economics and will develop and sustain the cultural heritage tourism in the USVI.
The built environment on the US Virgin Islands is rich in narratives, craftsmanship and architectural quality, but there hasn’t been a tradition of using this in strategic development e.g. in tourism or branding.
Therefor this project aims at giving the former Danish islands a chance to develop a sustainable market for cultural heritage. By transforming two former Danish buildings the islands have a solid foundation with which the local institutions can develop expertise and skills in the field of cultural tourism, education and procurement.
The extensive 17th and 18th century Danish built heritage on the former Danish islands in the Caribbean is a testimony to our common past and an eminent example of building traditions and craftsmanship. Unfortunately, the historic buildings are rapidly deteriorating, and we are close to losing the physical traces of our common history.
Two iconic buildings are being restored, refurbished and transformed into new functions. The former Danish military hospital on St. Thomas in Charlotte Amalie, now Jarvis School, will house the islands first national museum and cultural center. The former Danish military barracks on St Croix in Christiansted will be transformed into an Academy of Architecture and Crafts with teaching activities and exchanges between Denmark and the US Virgin Islands.