Can We Keep Historic Buildings Authentic?

4 27, 2016

Historical buildings give character and personality to a city and are an important component of a city’s culture and heritage. A loss of these buildings or even just aspects of them can have a dramatic effect on a city, not just in the way it looks but the way it feels too.

This doesn’t mean that these places need to be frozen in time, only to be gazed upon, like the Royal Doulton tea set at your nana’s house. Instead it is best if they are used and can be functional in our modern society. It is through adaptive reuse that many places can retain and increase their cultural significance becoming icons and landmarks for future generations.

Some people may be surprised to learn the level of effort that is required to ensure these buildings remain authentic and well preserved for future generations.

Most local governments have specific policies and procedures in place to ensure their historical buildings are correctly documented and managed to guarantee historic integrity is left intact. This type of supervision requires a detailed level of record keeping, database and registry management. The success of implementing these policies and procedures can be greatly affected by the ease of compliance for both owners of these buildings and the government departments tasked with managing them.

A heritage register is a common tool used to monitor and manage historical buildings and sites. Any building or site deemed to be of historical significance has to belong to this registry and any information regarding the historical significance of this property is kept within this archive. It is important that these registries are easily accessible and manageable, both internally and externally. Today, user friendly online solutions are sought to ensure compliance to the policy is made as easy as possible.

The Queensland Government recently launched their online heritage register which contains a list of places that have cultural heritage significance to the people of Queensland. The register was put in place to improve public access to information on Queensland’s Heritage places whilst creating an improved operating environment for heritage administrators.

This register is part of a solution called LHIS (Living Heritage Information System) which was developed by FINNZ to improve existing internal processes while enabling easier access to the registry by the public.

See how registered historic buildings are being preserved and adapted for reuse in Australia here. Including historic army barracks in Brisbane which were successfully converted into several buildings for Queensland’s University of Technology.

If you would like to find out more about our work in the Heritage sector, contact us or you can join our mailing list to stay informed of our latest initiatives.

Posted on January 10, 2016

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