The first built heritage twitter chat took place earlier today. The chat focused on adaptive reuse and was moderated by @jonaskayla, @presconf and @presnation. The chat was well organized and included a number of interesting questions and examples were brought up. The #builtheritage chat is currently slated to run on the first Wednesday of the month at 4pm. The complete transcript of the chat is available here.
The first portion of the chat focused on the question "What are you favourite examples of adaptive reuse?" Some of the most interesting examples included the Ford assembly building in Richmond CA, The Alumane Theatre which was once a fire hall, Toronto's Distillery District, and the converted Brisbane Powerhouse.
The discussion then moved on to the question, "What are the biggest barriers for adaptive reuse?" This portion of the chat focused mainly on the misconceptions associated with adaptive reuse. Misconceptions include the idea that adapted buildings can't be green, that reuse prohibits city growth, and that the people automatically assume a higher cost is associated with reuse.
The third portion of the chat focused on what steps heritage groups can take to encourage adaptive reuse. One of the best points in this section was the need to acknoweldge adaptive reuse is also a great "in-between" between full-fledged historic preservation and living/working in a modern setting. Additionally, it is essential that people be aware of what the advantages of adaptive reuse are, be shown successful examples, and highlight the flexibility in reuse.
A follow up question asked for input on how to local support for adaptive reuse of buildings. Suggestions included giving tours of reuse buildings, getting support from the local government, highlight the integrity of the building and what it means to the community in a wider historical context.
The final portion of the chat focused on the question "Is there a building you would like to see reused? For what?" A couple of the neat suggestions that were put forward included: The Auchmar Estate to be reused as a conference centre and the R.L. Hearn Generating Station as a museum.
Overall the chat brought up some interesting ideas and it was great to see people of a variety of backgrounds and interests take part in the discussion. I look forward to seeing what type of discussion the future chats inspire.