Reading that Perth County Council in all their supposed wisdom is even considering tearing down the former Land Registry Office / Archives building was enough to cause a sharp intake of breath followed by a rise in blood pressure and overall shaking of my head in disbelief.
To reflect on the shortcomings of the new building housing our archives whilst being told the original may be demolished is truly dismaying. I am no great fan of moving heritage structures from their native locations, but was this even considered before the rush to design the building which passes now as an acceptable home to our treasured collection of historical items?
I cannot fathom where we as a society have gone astray in our seeming disregard for the physical built elements of our past. They are, with few exceptions, wonderful examples of the determination of an earlier generation - of their desire to build for the future while at the same time leaving a tangible example of their craftsmanship and ingenuity. These buildings have lasted the test of time in a way few more recently built structures will, and yet some consider them disposable. We need these links to our past. Its that age old adage thing again - about knowing where you've been - a prime example of something we should cherish and hold onto.
The Perth County Courthouse is a sister building to the old Land Registry Office - sharing elements and style, let alone location, with this wonderful building. If this ones goes, is it not logical to worry about the fate of the courthouse next to it? To have three significant heritage structures next to each other, including the jail, is rare indeed, in this day and age. This needs to be nipped in the bud. Fingers crossed that the residents of Stratford, and their elected representatives, show more concern for this building than the residents of Perth County are demonstrating thru the public statements of their politicians.
This is simply wrong. There are innumerable examples of thoughtful and imaginative ways to repurpose and honour old buildings such as this...
, …a wonderfully crafted example of how we have strayed off the path of sustainable and thoughtful building, of proper proportion/scale, detailing and style. It is simply wrongheaded and shortsighted. Something to consider for "Heritage Day" on February 15th.
Rory McDonnell is a General Contractor, Licensed Carpenter and Architectural Designer with Build, a construction firm in Stratford, Ontario, specializing in new custom home builds and renovations.
I am a licensed carpenter,