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Marking time

Marking time on conservation

Thursday 27 February 2014

Ruskinian

I’m just back from spending a few days in Sydney, staying in one of my favourite houses. A friend has been the owner, resident and custodian for a long time, and I have enjoyed many visits there.

When it was built around 1905 Ruskinian was a typical middle-class Sydney suburban house. A hundred and ten years later you can still see many houses like it around the older Sydney sub­urbs, but hardly any with such a collection of intact original features as this one​—​turned verandah posts, tuck-​pointed brick­work, richly or­na­men­ted plaster­work finished in distemper, coloured and patterned glass, wood-grained joinery, linoleum floor coverings… .

But this will be my last visit. My friend is moving and the house is to be sold. I took some photographs to remember it by.

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Wednesday 26 February 2014

Dent Island plan adopted

The latest Reef in Brief newsletter from the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority announces that the heritage management plan for Dent Island lightstation has been added to the Com­mon­we­alth Register of Legislative Instruments.

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Sunday 5 January 2014

Hiding scaffolds

I admire the polite care sometimes taken in Europe, when his­toric buildings are being repaired, to maintain the quality of public spaces nearby. It’s not always done, but I have seen fine examples where scaffolding has been shrouded in screens print­ed with images of the facade behind. People in the streets are pro­tect­ed from the dirt and distraction of the build­ing work, and they can still see (at least a simulation of) the architecture.

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Monday 18 November 2013

Developing heritage places

I was delighted to hear that the recently published guideline Developing heritage places: using the development criteria has received a commendation from the Planning Institute of Aus­tra­lia. This is what the award judges wrote about the document:

The ‘Developing Heritages Places’ document is a clear and rigorous checklist of assessment criteria and considerations for stakeholders involved in site-specific development pro­pos­als relating to a Queensland heritage place.
      The checklist is supported by more detailed case studies and recommended (as opposed to required) actions to in­form the development of proposals, preparation of better development applications and prelodgement meetings with assessment authorities.
      The document is well presented, and as a result, will be accessible to multiple stakeholders. The judges were par­tic­u­lar­ly impressed by the inclusion of photographs of ex­am­ple cases studies, the comprehensiveness of the checklist from scoping through to construction and the ‘road-testing’ of the checklist undertaken by the Department with local government.
      ‘Developing Heritage Places’ has been endorsed by the Queensland Heritage Council and the judges believe rep­re­sent a model to be implemented in other jurisdictions moving forward
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Friday 1 November 2013

The Illustrated Burra Charter: how to buy it online

The Illustrated Burra Charter: good practice for heritage places has been widely accepted, often cited, and sometimes com­men­ded. But, sadly, the book has never been widely promoted or distributed.

It is hard to find a copy for sale in a book­shop or on the web. I have had quite a few enquiries from people who want­ed to buy one, but who couldn’t find a convenient source. In the past I have sent those people to the Australia ICOMOS website, where the online ordering process is a reminder of life before amazon.com.

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Saturday 21 September 2013

An atlas of photographic processes

The Getty Conservation Institute has released a terrific resource for collectors and custodians of historic photographs.

The Atlas of Analytical Signatures of Photographic Processes is intended for practicing photograph conservators, cu­ra­tors, art historians, archivists, library professionals, and anyone responsible for the care of photograph collections. Its purpose is to aid in the formulation of analytical ques­tions related to a particular photograph and to assist sci­en­tists unfamiliar with analysis of photographs when in­ter­preting analytical data. The Atlas contains in­ter­pre­ta­tion guides with identification of overlaps of spectral peaks and warnings of potential misidentification or mis­in­ter­preta­tion of analytical results.

It’s published as a set of free pdf documents​—​an Introduction, plus separate chapters on the Albumen, Carbon, Collodion on paper, Collotype, Cyanotype, Halftone, Photogravure, Platino­type, Salt print, Silver gelatin, and Woodburytype processes​—​with the promise of more to come. Each of these chapters has an historical account of the development and use of the process, and a guide to identifying photographs made by that process. The iden­ti­fi­ca­tion methods include looking at the print with the naked eye (which I can do), low-magnification microscopy (which I can manage, sort of, with hand lens and scanning), and using XRF and ATR-FTIR spectometry (not possible for me, but interesting to read about).

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Friday 6 September 2013

Richard Rogers on heritage and architecture

Here’s a little video in which the noted European architect talks about designing new buildings while taking account of their historical settings.

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Wednesday 8 May 2013

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.

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Thursday 18 April 2013

Pricing timber

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.

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Wednesday 20 March 2013

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).

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Monday 3 December 2012

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:

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Sunday 14 October 2012

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.

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Sunday 23 January 2011

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.

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Friday 11 September 2009

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.

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Friday 23 May 2008

Peter Garrett comes good

The Minister of the Environment, Water, Heritage and the Arts has refused the application to despoil Nobbys Head lighthouse. Bravo!

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Monday 7 April 2008

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.

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Wednesday 28 December 2005

Garibaldi’s Pantheon

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.

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Thursday 14 July 2005

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).

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Thursday 23 December 2004

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.

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Monday 30 August 2004

Press check

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.

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Wednesday 11 August 2004

Checking the proofs

At last. The book should be on the press this week.

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Sunday 8 August 2004

Doh!

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.

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Saturday 8 November 2003

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.

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Sunday 2 November 2003

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.

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Saturday 1 November 2003

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.

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Monday 15 September 2003

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:

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Thursday 17 April 2003

Collateral damage

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]
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Monday 16 December 2002

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:

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Friday 15 November 2002

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:

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Thursday 14 November 2002

Eco-fur

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:

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Saturday 2 November 2002

Conserving photographs

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.

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Saturday 7 September 2002

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.

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Sunday 28 April 2002

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.
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Monday 22 April 2002

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.

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Wednesday 27 March 2002

Musee Mechanique reprieved

David Nebenzahl of San Bruno, California has sent me a cheery message: My sad story about the Musee Mechanique has a happy sequel.

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Monday 18 March 2002

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.

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Friday 22 February 2002

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.

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Wednesday 26 December 2001

Heritage Council

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.

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Wednesday 19 December 2001

Fire!

From The New York Times a sad report: A wing of the Cathedral Church of St John the Divine erupted in flames yesterday morning…

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Sunday 2 December 2001

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.

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Wednesday 28 November 2001

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.

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Search marquis-kyle.com.au

On this page
Ruskinian
Dent Island plan adopted
Hiding scaffolds
Developing heritage places
The Illustrated Burra Charter: how to buy it online
An atlas of photographic processes
Richard Rogers on heritage and architecture
Heritage impact assessment lah
Pricing timber
Heritage impact reports
A visit to Auckland
Learning from Brisbane
After the flood
Queensland Heritage Council website
Peter Garrett comes good
Peter Garrett and Nobby's Head
Garibaldi's Pantheon
More awards for the Illustrated Burra Charter
Celebrating the Illustrated Burra Charter
Press check
Checking the proofs
Doh!
Fiona Gardiner: it's your birthday!
Telling tales: the poster
Telling tales on the web
Guitar and banjo museum
Collateral damage
Saving black rhinos
Rock art under threat
Eco-fur
Conserving photographs
Waste management in Nevada
Tourists destroy stave church
A Neutra house destroyed
Musee Mechanique reprieved
Musee Mechanique to close
Preservation briefs available again
Heritage Council
Fire!
News to put you off your pudding
20th century heritage conference

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