Here is a Question which follows on from the previous articleWhat makes this building and not that one worthy of heritage restoration?
A series of articles was published in Messenger Newspapers in December about South Australian Heritage - its importance and its viabililty.
Some articles extolled the value of the past, others sounded a note of warning about relying too much on the past and perhaps hampering development.Another debate forms around what makes a building worthy of consideration as a heritage listed building.
The most obvious is age, type of construction, its condition and therefore cost, what part did it play in history, who lived there, its uniqueness?
Not so obvious is..
Can it be preserved?
Have we got the skills to maintain and restore these buildings?
Do we have the craftsmen?
and more importantlyDo we have another generation ready to take over from the current small band of artisans?So the question we started with about the building and its worthiness for preservation is now being overshadowed by Can we do it and For how much longer?
Our greatest concern is the diminishing pool of tradesmen with suitable skill sets to perform the intricate work required to restore and preserve these buildings of significance.
With the advent of computerization, reluctance for the building industry to adopt technological advances and introduction of new modular forms of construction, suitable imparting of the acquired skill sets of traditional tradesmen is diminishing rapidly.
This coupled with the cost of construction being an impediment to development and the time cost of money becoming increasingly important, there is a strong drive to reduce construction time frames and hence the emphasis on modular forms of construction.
This emphasis has shifted the focus of training away from those traditional skills required for heritage construction.
As some of the works required in these traditional skill sets are physical and demanding there is also a reluctance for new entrants into the industry to adopt these career paths.Sometimes we need to look back to see where we have been to determine where we should be heading.
We will touch on these matters in future articles but would welcome your comments.
Our pages on Built Heritage
illustrate the types of skills needed for these restoration projects
Here are a couple of references
We will add more as we develop the topic.