Listed for posterity, 19 gems of Belfast cityscape
Buildings across Belfast have been protected as landmarks for generations to come after they were added to the listed buildings register yesterday.
Nineteen buildings will be protected as structures of special architectural or historical interest, joining the Lanyon Building at Queen's University and the Grand Opera House.
Environment Minister Mark H Durkan said: "The listing of these buildings is a welcome boost for this city.
"It recognises the rich and important cultural, historical and architectural tapestry of Belfast's buildings.
"Some of the buildings now listed are familiar architectural gems in Belfast's skyline. Others are much less prominent in our streetscape, but are very important because of their historical significance."
Buildings including the Belfast Telegraph offices on Royal Avenue, the Northern Bank headquarters on Donegall Square West and the Northern Ireland War Memorial building on Waring Street will now require special permission to be demolished, extended or altered in any way. One of Belfast's oldest pubs, Kelly's Cellars, won the fight to remain listed after customers set up a petition to make sure it continued to be protected.
"After careful consideration of all the available information I have decided to retain listing for a number of these buildings, including Kelly's Cellars. Despite the fact that Kelly's Cellars has been altered over the years I have concluded it is still of significant historic interest.
"Sufficient historic material survives to reflect this," Mr Durkan explained.
Six other buildings were, however, delisted as they have been altered significantly.
Imperial House on Donegall Square East was removed after the tile facade was replaced, and Fountain House lost its status as a fire has completely gutted the interior.
Mr Durkan added: "Our built heritage remains a precious and a finite resource.
"It is important that we work together to ensure that it is valued and enjoyed into the future and that its potential to contribute to our economic and social wellbeing and regeneration is fully realised."
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