Newcastle: Can we have our Heritage cake and eat it too?

Newcastle is Australia’s second oldest city, with a very significant number of old buildings and precincts of great heritage significance.

In all old cities around the world, there is an inevitable tension between those who wish to preserve the heritage of the past, particularly in the built environment, and those who wish to demolish it and build modern buildings unconstrained by heritage considerations. Old buildings are costly to maintain, and often in the very areas where the profits of redevelopment are enormous.

In the Hunter, there are the controversial Heritage ‘Hot-Spots’ of Old Newcastle, Central Maitland and Morpeth. Less mentioned but significant areas include Wallsend, Singleton, West Wallsend, Lambton, and Catherine Hill Bay. Individual building sites such as the Newcastle Post Office, The Store, Nobbys, Merewether’s Surf House, Fort Scratchley and Newcastle Baths are all of particular interest in this debate.

Is there a middle ground? Can we have our heritage cake and eat it too? That is the topic of the next public forum hosted by the Newcastle Institute.

Barney Collins, a prominent Newcastle architect with a track record in heritage architecture, will join local historian Ann Hardy and commercial real estate agent Chris Chapman of Colliers Property. They will each bring their own perspectives to this discussion, and then take part in a forum with the audience exploring where is the reasonable way forward that can preserve our heritage appropriately, but provide a appropriate and sustainable economic return for the property owners and investors.

As always, this forum aims to explore the issues and hear from all perspectives. The Newcastle Institute does not take a position on any issue, but fosters sharing of opinions in a respectful, considered way to achieve the best outcomes for the community.

VENUE: Friendship Room, Panthers Club Newcastle, (Formerly the Workers Club)
DATE: Wednesday 12th August 2015
TIME: 6.00 till 7.30pm ADMISSION: $5 Donation



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