Recently, ERA’s Michael McClelland and Victoria Angel spoke to a group of approximately 80 people at the Workers Arts and Heritage Centre in Hamilton regarding ERA’s role in Hamilton’s Downtown Built Heritage Inventory (DBHI) project.
The DBHI project is a pilot project to review and update information about 789 downtown properties on the Inventory of Buildings of Architectural and / or Historical Interest (within the area bounded by Wellington, Queen, Hunter, and Cannon streets). A preliminary assessment of the heritage value of these properties is also being carried out.
It is intended that the DBHI methodology be applicable at a citywide level to the remaining 6000+ properties on the city’s inventory.
The approach that has been developed for the DBHI involves the use of historic context statements, which can help to identify historic properties that contribute in significant ways to the unique character and qualities of neighbourhoods and areas. Comprehensive citywide surveys and the use of historic context statements represent an emerging best practice in North America, and are being employed in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and San Francisco, among other cities. The results of these surveys can be used to identify heritage conservation opportunities and priorities, and integrate historic resources into broader urban planning frameworks.
Following extensive research, mapping, community consultation, and analysis, ERA will complete the final report for the DBHI project in early 2014.