Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Regeneration of our city landmarks must not be ignored

I noted the letter of D Prest of Belfast (Write Back, August 24) regarding the future of the Crumlin Road courthouse.

While it is extremely disappointing that such extensive damage has already been caused to the building, and I understand why D Prest might be ‘depressed’, giving up on its eventual restoration would, I believe, be a massive mistake.

The future prosperity of this deprived part of the city requires that the courthouse, Crumlin Road jail and other key historic buildings such as Carlisle Memorial Methodist Church are brought back into productive use.

All are landmarks that still provide some sense of place in a city ravaged over the last decades and could be drivers for sustainable regeneration.

One doesn’t have to look to reconstructed post-WWII cities in Europe such as Warsaw to see how our historic buildings can be saved as excellent recent examples exist in Belfast.

Christ Church in College Square North and St Patrick’s School on Donegall Street both suffered equally devastating fire damage, but now play active roles in the community while still retaining their importance to the streetscape.

Don’t allow those who would try to destroy our historic buildings to get away with it: restore them for the benefit of present and future generations.

ANDREW McCLELLAND

Ulster Architectural Heritage Society

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