Between 1978 - 1989, LCO embarked on its first projects in the area.
One of the first sites on which the LCO established renovation projects were the Armenian monasteries and historical monuments located in the Eastern Vaspourakan region of historical Armenia, in the province of Salmas which is present day northwest Iran.
Three major edifices were undertaken for restoration.
- 12th Century Sourp Thaddeus Monastery: Scaffolding was constructed to prevent further destruction by the elements and prevent the collapse of the roof. Water irrigation systems were built for the surrounding land in order for the local residents to inhabit and maintain the area. Restoration of the monastery walls.
- Sourp Stepanos Monastery: Scaffolding to prevent the collapse of the roof.
- 13th Century Dzor Dzor/Sourp Asdvadzdzin Church: With a dam being built in the area, the Church was in jeopardy of being flooded. With the assistance of LCO funding and architectural and historical advisors, the structure was dismantled stone by stone and moved to higher grounds to be restored.
With the onset of activities belonging to the 1700th anniversary of Christianity in Armenia, various programs have been developed. Along these lines, in the summer of 2000, a major pilgrimage was organized by the LCO to return to those sites and remember the roots of the LCO by participating in the pilgrimage and restarting our campaigns in the region. The campaign was such an overwhelming success, that we resumed the campaign in Iran for 2001.The Iranian Ministry of Culture and local Armenian groups continue small renovation projects. In 2008, all three sites, Sourp Thaddeus Monastery, Sourp Stepanos, and Dzor Dzor have been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The Land and Culture Organization has held campaigns in the Kessab region since 1986. One of the few remnant picturesque Armenian villages left of Cilician Armenia, located just outside the present day boundaries of Turkey. Kessab borders the Mediterranean Sea and is one valley away from the famous Musa Dagh. The city of Kessab swells in the summer season.
According to Syrian law, the government could repossess uncultivated land. Armenian lands were in jeopardy and LCO began to cultivate the area for safekeeping. In addition, Armenians continued to inhabitant ancient Armenian land. LCO perceived the Armenian identity in Kessab being vulnerable and sought to preserve whatever Armenian structures it could.
LCO has worked primarily in the city of Kessab and its surrounding village of Kaladouran. The objective is on maintaining the Armenian architectural integrity. The following projects were the focus of our campaigns.
- Between 1986- 2006: LCO restoration of the traditional Armenian dwellings called the Ashkarian House and the Bedrossian House in Kessab, and the Baboudjian House in Kaladouran.
- Between 1991-1992: LCO undertook the construction of an ethnographical museum in Kessab supported in part by the Gulbenkian Foundation.
- Between 1986-1990: LCO completed an agricultural program in Kaladouran including the planting of fruit trees, vegetables, and irrigation system.
- Between 1985-1988: LCO restored the Sourp Stepanos Church in the Kaladouran to serve the community.