This guest post was written by the South Australian Heritage Council
We are all used to living with change.
In many cases, our much-loved heritage places only continue to live in the 21st century through change. Think of major features in Adelaide like the Treasury Building on Victoria Square, the T&G Building and CML Building on King William Street – these have been adapted for entirely new uses.
T&G Building, King William Street, Adelaide
The South Australian Heritage Council recognises that State Heritage Places should be available for change so that it can gain new value for the community and also retain its important physical heritage fabric. Without modification, a building may become vacant and we know that an empty place contributes to its physical decline. An occupied heritage place is much more likely to be loved and conserved.
Our aim is for the places we live and work in to modernize without losing their unique character. South Australia’s character is embodied through its historic core and cultural heritage places and assets. Sensitive development can be used to change the use of a heritage place in a sustainable and practical way. “Adaptive reuse” is a conservation practice which has been successfully applied to a number of heritage places.
Re-cycling of existing buildings also provides significant environmental benefits, and reuse of building materials commonly saves large amounts of embodied energy that would otherwise be wasted. It also, and very importantly, preserves our cultural identity.
Adelaide has some fine examples of Heritage Places that have changed. Electra House, originally the home of an insurance company, is now a bar and restaurant. Another example, constructed for the Bank of New South Wales is 2 King William Street. The building’s rooftop is now the 2KW Bar and its elegant Art Deco banking chamber is home to the Fishbank Restaurant.
On 6 May 2021, from 10am to 12 noon, please join Keith Conlon, who chairs the SA Heritage Council, on a tour of some of our favourite Adelaide State Heritage Places that have been re-purposed to cope with change – shifts in our economy, technology and more. Vital to our sense of history and identity, they now play a role in our future too. Keith’s tour starts at the Queen Victoria statue, Victoria Square. The tour is wheelchair accessible and free. Bookings through Eventbrite – state heritage treasures embracing change