Following a recent evaluation, the Tumacácori National Historical Park announced it will embark on a five-year project to conserve plasters and painted finishes inside the San José de Tumacácori mission church.

The project, which will be carried out by federal agencies, academic institutions and nonprofits, is set to begin in August.

Specialists in earthen architecture from the Architectural Conservation Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania conducted an initial assessment of the church Jan 2-6. According to a news release from the park, the specialists reviewed a photographic survey conducted by University of Arizona students between 2014-16 and “tested a new method to strengthen the lime plaster which coats the adobe walls” of the church.

The Architectural Conservation Laboratory, which has experience working on missions in Texas, California and Puerto Rico, previously worked with the park in 2014 when it helped to conserve the church’s façade.

According to the press release, the park is seeking funds to host conservation professionals and students from the United States and Mexico “to foster collaboration and education.”

Construction of the Franciscan mission church began sometime between 1799 and 1802. It was dedicated in 1822 and abandoned in 1848. The site was declared a national monument in 1908 and work to restore and stabilize the structure began after that.

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