Belfast Telegraph

Monday 1 September 2014

Historic fabric can become backdrop for many modern uses

Mrs M. E. Harkness (Writeback, September 3) seems to be under the illusion that organisations such as the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society wish to live in the past.

Mrs M. E. Harkness (Writeback, September 3) seems to be under the illusion that organisations such as the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society wish to live in the past.

Despite growing evidence to the contrary across Belfast (the Opera House, St George's Market, McCausland's, Christ Church), she does not seem to recognise the fact that contemporary uses can be successfully accommodated within historic fabric.

Such 19th century buildings give the city its distinctive character and are critical to its promotion.

The most fascinating European cities retain a strong sense of their history, articulated through their built heritage.

Belfast is playing catch-up and needs to find the vision to recognise this dwindling asset in its midst.

Sadly, the fact that there is no conservation officer within Belfast Planning Division does not inspire confidence.

RITA HARKIN, Research Officer, Ulster Architectural Belfast 7.

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