#builtheritage – Our Priorities Reflect Our Values

I believe we must step up our game if we are to make any progress in saving our built heritage.

#SavetheGore - We must step up our Game!

#SavetheGore – We must step up our Game!

Yesterday, the Globe and Mail reported that a committee of Toronto City Council had approved Ryerson’s request to not install the “Sam the Record Man” neon sign.

In the original agreement between the City and the School, Ryerson was required to restore the sign to its former location. Now they are being allowed to back out of this agreement.

The neon sign now sits in storage waiting to be displayed once again.

So, we keep fighting the same battles – over and over again.

It is my belief that heritage can only be protected if developers and city councils appreciate not only its aesthetic worth but its economic value as well.

Clearly we are not there yet!

In Hamilton, you just have to look at the following points (as reported by Raise the Hammer and other media sources):

  • There has not been a single historical designation in the past 5 years.
  • The City’s Heritage Planning Department lacks the staff to quickly process the required paperwork for designation.
  • The media keeps promoting the view that we “can’t save everything.”
  • There continues to be a lost of heritage worthy buildings to intentional demolition or neglect.

Yes, more heritage designations are part of the solution, but the real answer is a change of attitude by developers and city hall.

There must develop a consensus that heritage means jobs and economic growth.

As heritage advocates, we must make a strong and clear case to the community that heritage matters.

We can do this through organization and education.

Here are some simply actions we can take as first steps towards this goal:

1.)    Use those chain emails that are circulating among some of us to alert people to positive and negative reports in the media.

2.)    Take a few moments and a few words to comment on those articles in the media.  How many articles in the press have not received a single comment?  The larger community needs to know your views – it really does matter! Otherwise, you allow the anti-heritage to dominate the public discussion.

3.)    If you belong to a heritage group then you should be at the forefront of the fight by writing to the media editors and politicians at the local and provincial levels. We are all in this fight together.

4.)    If you love history, attend lectures, and read books about the past, then use that knowledge to save the history that still stands today. Why imagine how those early settlers steamed into Port Hamilton and pass the lighthouse (our version of the stature of liberty) to start a new life when you can actually visit it.  Why imagine the store where they purchased all the things need for a new life when you see it today – The Kerr Buildings.

5.)    Finally, use social media to spread the word about the value of heritage.  By using our networks of friends, we can reach out to others and start to build a case.  People who know you will value your opinion much more than anyone else.

We can save our heritage but we have to step up our game.

About Chris Erskine

Visual Artist and independent film-maker. Try to post summaries of my artistic activities once per month. View all posts by Chris Erskine

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Rebalance

You are now looking at a demo of the Rebalance theme by Automattic

Fusion

Championing a young, diverse, and inclusive America with a unique mix of smart and irreverent original reporting, lifestyle, and comedic content.

fadedgenes

A Chronicle of the people of the Methodist Church in Canada

Spinnaker Films: Blog

Film / TV Production Company based in Sydney, Australia

savecenturymanor2

This is the official web site of the Save Century Manor Task Force 2 (CMTF2). This task force was created not only to draw attention to the existence of Century Manor, an important Hamilton heritage building in danger of demolition by neglect, but also to provide information on Century Manor and to gain support within and outside our community for our ongoing fight to save and preserve this heritage building through restoration and adaptive reuse.

reality sandwiches

Snack on this

cate inglis : urban landscapes

contemporary urban landscapes by award-winning Scottish artist

digitalfilms

a blog by Oliver Peters

%d bloggers like this: