BETHLEHEM, Pa. - Removed since January, the reinstallation and restoration of 88 shutters on historic Bethlehem's 1741 Gemeinhaus is several hundred years in the making.
"Shutters are an important context of this building. We know that historically," said Barry Pell, the Chair of the Moravian Museum.
Built by the Moravians, it was the center of their local civilization. Pell says the shutters date back to at least the first pic of Bethlehem's oldest building, taken in 1866. But time took its toll. Historic restoration firm R.J. Doerr, based near Easton, took on the task of turning back the clock.
"We always want to keep it original, if we can we patch it up little bit," said project manager Spencer Jacobsen.
This project's part of a bigger plan, not only to make the building look authentic but to also make the Moravian Historic District a UNESCO World Heritage site.
"It's huge. Phenomenal badge of honor for the community," said LoriAnn Wukitsh, The Managing Director of Historic Bethlehem Museums and Sites.
Wukitsh says it would cover nearly 15 acres in the heart of Bethlehem and include 10 buildings, ruins and the cemetery.
It's been on the tentative list since 2016.
A World Heritage Site is a natural or cultural site that demonstrates influence or significance in a global context.
Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water in southwestern Pa. was the last U.S. site to be officially named.
"There are only 100 World Heritage Sites in the world, so we are hoping to be the 25th or 26th," she said.
Preservation progress worth waiting for.