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 City & Time > Vol. 4, No. 3 (2009) open journal systems 

A remarkable conservation work in 19th-century Brazil: the rebuilding of the Santa Isabel Theatre, in Recife

Alberto José de Sousa, Universidade Federal da Paraíba

This article focuses on a pioneering work of architectural conservation that was carried out in Recife, Brazil, during the early half of the 1870s: the reconstruction of the Santa Isabel Theatre, one of the best Brazilian edifices of the second third of the 19th century, which had been ruined by a fire in 1869. The work was conceived and undertaken by the Recife-born engineer Tibúrcio de Magalhães, and managed to preserve the character of the original theatre, designed by the French engineer Louis Vauthier, as well as most of its surviving parts and the compositional structure of its exterior. The paper discusses and judges the operation, compares it with other interventions, and concludes that it was judicious, innovative and beneficial to Brazilian architecture. Keywords: conservation, reconstruction, Brazilian architecture, 19th century

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City & Time  ISSN: 1807-7544