Marking time on conservation
Heritage impact assessment lah
Here’s a sequel to my post about heritage impact reports. Dr Lee Lik Meng, Associate Professor of planning at the Universiti Sains Malaysia, took part in Donald Ellsmore’s workshop and wrote about the experience on his blog.»more»
I have scanned a pair of timber price lists from my collection. See the PDFs here. They were produced in the 1930s by timber merchants in Queensland and New South Wales. They allow some interesting comparisons.
Heritage impact reports
My colleague Donald Ellsmore asked me if I had ever seen a half decent heritage impact assessment in 10 pages or less.
I replied: I favour reports that are as short as possible (but as long as necessary…). The length needs to vary with the complexity of the issues and the nature of the other consultants’ reports in the development application. I am used to writing impact reports that go alongside stuff prepared by design architects and by town planners (who never learned brevity, or have since forgotten about it).»more»
A visit to Auckland
My interview on Radio New Zealand stirred the Auckland Council to ask me to come and talk about the experience of protecting the character of residential areas in Brisbane. Through the whole of Monday and half of Tuesday I had a queue of meetings and presentations. My visit made some ripples in the press—here is a selection:»more»
Learning from Brisbane
All the various local government areas of Auckland in New Zealand have been mashed together to make one super-council. (Something similar was done here in Brisbane in the 1920s). A new town plan is being prepared for Auckland, and there is hot debate about protecting the character of older residential areas. We had a similar debate in Brisbane back in the 1990s.»more»
After the flood
When I was a child in primary school an old man gave me a stack of photographs—a couple of dozen whole-plate contact prints with scenes of the 1893 Brisbane River flood and its aftermath. At the time, I thought those pictures were wonderful, and I still do. They started my interest in the history of photography, and they were the beginning of my own little collection.»more»
Queensland Heritage Council website
I’m pleased to report that the Queensland Heritage Council has a new domain name and website — www.qldheritage.org.au.»more»
Peter Garrett comes good»more»
Peter Garrett and Nobby’s Head
The Commonwealth Minister for the Environment, Heritage and the Arts, Peter Garrett, is inviting comment on his proposed decision not to approve a new building wrapped around the 1858 lighthouse at Newcastle. For the record, I have written to him supporting his decision to refuse this inappropriate and damaging proposal.»more»
This is a reminder to myself, to discover more about the New York cottage in which the Italian patriot Giuseppe Garibaldi lived between 1850 and 1854. It was the house of Antonio Meucci, belatedly acknowledged as the inventor of the telephone.»more»
More awards for the Illustrated Burra Charter
Today Margie and I attended the National Trust of Queensland’s 2005 heritage award presentation. On behalf of Australia ICOMOS I carried away these two awards for The Illustrated Burra Charter: Good Practice for Heritage Places:
The Bendigo Bank Gold Award for excellence in heritage conservation works of action (top award for works by community organisations).
The John Herbert Memorial Award (the top award overall).»more»
Celebrating the Illustrated Burra Charter
In this, my three-hundredth posting to Marking time, I want to record that The Illustrated Burra Charter: Good Practice for Heritage Places has been launched.
Writing this book has been a long project for Meredith Walker and me. I have already mentioned it here a few times - at first draft, final draft, proofing, and printing stages. This is a project that seemed like it would never end. But now it has.»more»
Another milestone passed. Tonight I saw the first sheets of the book cover come off the press. I went out to the printing works and watched the press operators run a series of test sheets through the press, measure the density of the colour control patches and tune the ink flow to different parts of the plates.
The book cover includes nine photographs. Except for one digital camera file, they are all reproduced from scans that I made of prints, transparencies and negatives. I had to learn some new tricks, and I was apprehensive about the result. It was a relief to see accurate colour reproductions coming off the press, and a pleasure to sign the approved stamp on the sample sheet.»more»
Checking the proofs
At last. The book should be on the press this week.»more»
This morning Margie and I took a walk around Highgate Hill. Just checking on things that have changed, and things that have not, while we were away. We sadly counted the old houses being demolished in Dornoch Terrace, and glumly inspected where The Gully used to be.»more»
Fiona Gardiner: it’s your birthday!
Which prompts me to scan and share this newspaper clipping from The Australian of 15 November 1974. On the left is a story about a campaign by Fiona Gardiner and Helen Wilson to conserve the works of the South Brisbane Gas Co. On the right is a piece about the area that would later become Cooloola National Park.
Back then Jo Bjelke-Petersen was the staunchly pro-development Premier of Queensland. Gough Whitlam was the Prime Minister and the National Estate Inquiry had recently reported. The Australian Heritage Commission Act was still in the future. To suggest conserving a gas works was the business of ratbags.
Now it’s become — like us perhaps — respectable, sort of.»more»
Telling tales: the poster
I have made a poster for the telling tales conference, to illustrate the points I raised yesterday. Its a bunch of pages from this site displayed as if in open browser windows, lined up to speak for themselves.»more»
Telling tales on the web
I’m going to the Australia ICOMOS Telling tales: interpretation in the conservation and design process conference in Sydney.
Conference-goers are invited to bring posters on the theme of innovative concepts and media to communicate heritage meanings. This got me thinking about the ways I use this website to tell stories about people and places, and what makes it a good medium.»more»
Guitar and banjo museum
As vintage instruments come into his workshop for repair, Frank Ford photographs them for his museum. He explains his motivations like this:»more»
In the Calcutta Telegraph the other day, Pentagon knew of museum risk:
In the months leading up to the Iraq war, US scholars repeatedly urged the defence department to protect Iraq’s priceless archaeological heritage from looters, and warned specifically that the National Museum of Antiquities was the single most important site in the country. [via antipixel]»more»
Saving black rhinos
I read about the work of the Save the Black Rhino Trust through the aus.photo newsgroup. I followed up, and received some more information:»more»
Rock art under threat
Robert Bednarik has published this web page about the threatened destruction of a rich collection of Indigenous rock art in north-western Australia:»more»
I’m grateful to Richard for pointing out this item about using alien possums as an economic resource. I’ll quote from the New Zealand Nature Co website:»more»
I spent today at a photographic preservation workshop, looking closely at daguerreotypes, tintypes, ambrotypes and other early photographs, and learning how to care for them. Thanks to Lydia Egunnike, conservator at the State Library of Queensland, for an excellent session. My little collection is in for some tender loving care.»more»
Waste management in Nevada
Steel cargo containers of solid transuranic waste are being stacked for above ground storage at the Nevada Test Site Area 5 Radioactive Waste Management Site. Each container holds up to 50 drums of transuranic waste.
This is a photograph made available by the U.S. Department of Energy, National Nuclear Security Administration Nevada Operations Office, Office of Public Affairs and Information.»more»
Tourists destroy stave church
The Oslo newspaper Aftenposten carries this disturbing story:
Tourists are destroying Norway’s stave church in Eidsborg with a craving for souvenirs. So much of the church has been pocketed that holes are beginning to appear in the structure.
A Neutra house destroyed
I wrote to Elsa Dorfman, asking if she minded my using her photo on this site. She kindly agreed, and added …but have to tell you that you must read the article in today’s nytimes magazine about the destruction of a wonderful richard neutra house in california. it is a heartbreaking story… I found the article here (free registration required). Don’t miss the linked slide show which has colour photos by Julius Schulman. Thanks Elsa.»more»
Musee Mechanique reprieved
Musee Mechanique to close
Read about community upset over closure of San Francisco’s Musee Mechanique. The National Park Service plans to refurbish the historic building where the collection is housed.»more»
Preservation briefs available again
I am pleased to find the the US National Parks Service website is back on the net. See US judge pulls the plug on the internet for background.»more»
My three year appointment to the Queensland Heritage Council has just finished. The Minister for Environment has written to acknowledge my splendid contribution. I’m pleased he thinks so.
From The New York Times a sad report: A wing of the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine erupted in flames yesterday morning…»more»
News to put you off your pudding
Last night’s closing dinner for the 20th century heritage conference was held at the newly opened National Wine Centre of Australia. This bold new building seemed a fitting venue.»more»
20th century heritage conference
For the next few days I’ll be in Adelaide for the Australia ICOMOS annual meeting and 20th century heritage: our recent cultural legacy conference.