For many years, the second house of Babameto, once an iconic feature of the local bazar, was left in complete ruins. By 2011, the roof had collapsed in,and most interior and exterior elements such as stairways, floors, and windows were damaged. In addition, the ground floor had become a dump site for garbage as well as a refuge for small saplings and encroaching vines. To prevent the complete destruction of the building, CHwB began interventions to restore this important monument. The dual aims of this restoration project were the preservation of Gjirokastra’s built cultural heritage and the stimulation of the local economy. The project outcomes included the full restoration of one 2nd category monument, capacity building of local craftsmen and young Albanian architects in traditional restoration techniques, revitalization of the monument as a storefront and office space, and the creation of local jobs.
Today the building has been reincorporated as a public space. For a period of nine months Babameto II was used as a storefront and training centre – employing 11 local women who made and sold hand-crafted purses and other textiles using recycled and repurposed materials such as plastic grocery bags. Future projects, under the direction of the Gjirokastër Corporation and Development Organization (GCDO), will focus on capacity development and providing employment opportunities for local residents. Babameto II continues to stand as a model for using cultural heritage as a social, economic, cultural and environmental resource.