Is there such a thing as a historic setting in the 21st Century metropolis? St John's heritage area, a case study

Fill, Barbara (2005) Is there such a thing as a historic setting in the 21st Century metropolis? St John's heritage area, a case study. In: 15th ICOMOS General Assembly and International Symposium: ‘Monuments and sites in their setting - conserving cultural heritage in changing townscapes and landscapes’, 17 – 21 oct 2005, Xi'an, China. [Conference or Workshop Item]

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Abstract (in English)

The ICOMOS New Zealand Charter For The Conservation Of Places Of Cultural Heritage Value has identified as one of its general principles that ‘the historical setting of a place should be conserved with the place itself. If the historical setting no longer exists, construction of a setting based on physical and documentary evidence should be the aim…’16 This paper considers the relevance of this principle in the 21st century urban environment. Downtown Wellington, New Zealand has changed dramatically in the last 150 years. Transformed from small wooden commercial, residential and ecclesiastical buildings scattered around the shores of the harbour set amidst the remains of Maori gardens and cleared forest remnants the semi-rural English village idyll is now dominated by concrete and glass edifices that tower above the remnant spires of the 19th century. The fields and dirt tracks replaced with steel and polystyrene structures and tarsealed motorways and pavements. The historic setting of both the original Maori inhabitants and the early European settlers has been annihilated. The remnants of what remains have been reconstructed, reconfigured and relocated over the intervening years to accommodate the needs and demands of an expanding population. This is clearly evident in the buildings and surroundings that comprise the Presbyterian parish of St John’s in central Wellington, listed as a heritage area in the Wellington City District Plan. When a new youth café is proposed for the oldest building on the site it raises the question of what is the historic setting and can it be conserved while meeting the needs and demands of a new generation?

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Authors:
AuthorsEmail
Fill, BarbaraUNSPECIFIED
Languages: English
Keywords: urban environment; setting; The ICOMOS New Zealand Charter For The Conservation Of Places Of Cultural Heritage Value (ICOMOS NZ Charter); heritage sites
Subjects: E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 02. Theory and doctrinal texts
E.CONSERVATION AND RESTORATION > 05. Sites
H.HERITAGE TYPOLOGIES > 26. Habitations urbaines
Name of monument, town, site, museum: St John’s Heritage Area, Wellington, New Zealand
ICOMOS Special Collection: Scientific Symposium (ICOMOS General Assemblies)
ICOMOS Special Collection Volume: 2005, 15th
Depositing User: Jose Garcia
Date Deposited: 27 Oct 2010 15:15
Last Modified: 13 Jan 2011 19:14
URI: http://openarchive.icomos.org/id/eprint/279

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