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Restoring Cairo's best buildings to their glory days

An apartment building in Cairo. Preservationists are dusting off historic buildings to highlight the city’s rich architectural heritage. (Bildagentur Zoonar Gmbh/

With styles that span from Renaissance to Baroque, Cairo overflows with glorious architecture. Unfortunately, much of this heritage and splendor is difficult to see. That’s due to the thick grime that cakes many buildings, sidewalks packed with vendors and tacky neon signage.

Leila Fadel reports for NPR that an effort is underway to restore Cairo’s buildings to their glory days. The historic preservation project, launched in 2014 with municipal support, aims to bring the city’s beloved archways, balconies, columns and wooden doors back to life. The restoration will cost in the hundreds of thousands of U. S. dollars, the story says.

Preservationists have had to convince shopkeepers and vendors to change their habits, Fadel notes. They are being encouraged not to block historic buildings with kiosks and cars. Buildings are receiving fresh coats of paint and shops are altering exteriors to match neighborhood aesthetics.


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