Port au Prince Gingerbreads, photos by Randolph Langenbach


"The simultaneously wild, yet rigorous exuberance of the Gingerbreads seem to embody inherently Creole tensions at the scale of individual buildings, in their very structure, overall form and abundant adornment.  These are buildings that almost seem to be making themselves right in front of us.   Although in their basic shapes, they are born of the Caribbean Chattel house types, these forms are stretched and rotated and stacked on top of one another so as to be almost unrecognizable."

"The roofs deflect and fold.  Their vertical aspirations are grotesquely elegant.  Ornamentation become space, as building becomes Galri, and Galri becomes brackets, balustrades and bracing.   In front of our eyes, the buildings start to stir, becoming living beings, with their skeletons and skins, their bases, bodies and Baron Samedi like crowns, their skirts and brows, their eyes and mouths.  They are flesh and blood, and they animate the urban space around them, in a sinuous strut." (Christopher Robin Andrews September 2011)