FILE PHOTO: The Tafawa Balewa Square is also an historic site in Lagos.

A group, Open House Lagos (OHL), has advised the Lagos State Government to increase efforts in the preservation of historical buildings in various locations in the state.

Mr Chuka Ihonor, Principal Architect and Chairman OHL, gave the advice while addressing newsmen on the Fourth OHL Tour in Lagos on Thursday evening.

The theme of the tour is entitled “Crossing Borders, Building Bridges.”

“Right from the onset, there have always been cultural and religious tours of structures in cities.

“The preservation of these historical buildings in Lagos involves a lot of financial costs, and I urge the Lagos State Government to increase preservation efforts of these buildings, which have a lot of cultural and historical importance.

“Preservation of buildings costs money, and is a gradual process; thoroughbred professionals are needed to restore them, and they need to be done slowly,” he said.

According to Ihonor, the Fourth OHL Tour will hold from Nov. 2 to Nov. 3 and will involve 14 tours of over 30 buildings in the state.

“OHL presents an opportunity to see, explore and learn about Lagos architecture all for free. Lagos citizens and tourists will find out more about issues that are relevant to their local area.

“This is our fourth festival, and it has not been easy getting this far. As we approach the five-year milestone next year, we believe that this year’s events will set a suitable standard on which to celebrate next year,” he said.

The Festival Director of HOL, Mrs Olamide Udoma-Ejorh, said that 60 volunteers had been trained out of the 150 volunteers needed for the tour.

“It is very important for us to have a voice on how we can start changing our cities.

“The importance of OHL is also to engage students and undergraduates on the reality of architecture and give them an understanding of the environment that they live in.

“With this year’s theme, we hope to show that architecture can be used as an instrument to foster education and openness in our society.

“We want you to join the conversation on our events off and online,” she said.

Udoma-Ejorh noted that the areas to be toured are Lekki, Ikoyi, Yaba, University of Lagos, Railway Compound, Lagos Island and Ikeja.

“This tour involves showcasing our culture and buildings that have historical touches,” she said.

The Open House Concept was founded in 1992 in London by Victoria Thornton, with the aim of fostering a better understanding of architecture and the building environment outside the profession.

The Open House Worldwide Family brand was created in 2010.

Across the globe, a community of 30 cities, including Lagos, had adopted the same model.