On Friday April 1, a list was released that announced the fate of 68 heritage buildings, amongst others. Designated for demolition, partial demolition or to make safe, the names of recognisable buildings are visible.
Of the 68,
43 are to be demolished
9 are to be made safe
16 are to be partially demolished
But what does this mean?
After a couple of weeks of what appeared to be careful reporting by the media, using the word deconstruction, we seem to be back to the use of demolition.
Deconstruction engenders the idea of careful and deliberate taking apart of buildings.
Whilst this may be a 2-fold exercise, firstly dealing with the unstable collapse material, and later the still in situ upright material; in keeping with international best practise common to archaeological works there would be conservation plans and appropriate recording, sampling and labelling. In other words, good scientific strategies would be in place with systematic methodologies and the generation of results for interpretation and dissemination.
I hope after the moratorium, and period of breathing, demolition at its most basic meaning has not begun.
I hope that, within reasonable limits, we are not losing our history. And worse, we are losing it because the funds are not there.
What price should we put on our heritage legacy?