Edinburgh Study Tour – Part II: Similarity, Difference and Conservation Decisions: Case Studies of Riddle’s Court and the Botanic Cottage

Written by Duncan Marks

While the motto of the 2016 YCAA study tour was ‘a city of contrasts’, unfortunately the weather on the opening day was relentlessly unchanging: cold, wet and very in keeping with Edinburgh’s epigram as “the windy city”. Fortunately, we were spared further exposure to the brisk Scottish weather by visiting two of Edinburgh’s most fascinating and current conservation projects in the city’s World Heritage Site domain: Riddle’s Court and the Botanic Cottage. Continue reading

Edinburgh Study Tour – Part I: Complexity and Contrasts in Managing Old and New Towns’ World Heritage Site

Written by Angela Morris


Old Town of Edinburgh. Photo by author.
New Town of Edinburgh. Photo by author.

At the beginning of April, the YCAA study tour took place in the lovely old city of Edinburgh. The theme of the study tour was ‘Edinburgh, a city of contrasts: an exploration of the conservation and management issues of its two World Heritage Sites.’ As part of this tour, we were witness to Edinburgh’s two World Heritage Site (‘WHS’) – consisting of Old and New Towns and the recently-inscribed Forth Bridge – as well as local conservation projects within its city limits. Certainly, Edinburgh offers a layered appreciation of the diverse issues associated with not just a WHS but also how those concerns intersect with local and national interests and planning policy. As a student, it was truly a pleasure to see these complicated topics played out first-hand in a practical and reified way in such a prime setting. Continue reading

Industrial Heritage Training with Lorne Simpson in the Medicine Hat Clay Industries District

Written by Marilyn Williams

Last June, York Conservation Studies alumnus Lorne Simpson taught a week long Industrial Heritage course offered through the University of Victoria and based in a remarkable setting, Medalta Potteries, an industrial site that is also part of the 150-acre Medicine Hat Clay Industries National Historic District. The district comprises numerous clay industry enterprises, from the remnants of the 1910 Alberta Clay Products pressed brick & tile factory to the fully operational clay supplier, 1962 Plainsman Clays Ltd. The district also includes the adaptively re-used 1912 Medalta and 1937 Medicine Hat (Hycroft) potteries and the recently closed 1885 MHB&TCo (Medicine Hat Brick & Tile) factory, now I-XL. For Lorne, the industrial site also represents a “lifetime of work” – he has applied his conservation skills with the museum, interpretive centre and model community centre for over 30 years – and one of his proudest achievements. Over the ensuing week it would also serve as a collection of real life, ideal case studies with which we would observe and interact first hand. Continue reading

Staving Off Decay through Loan Programs

Written by Lauren E. Mauldin

 I remember many a Saturday visiting Macon, Georgia as a child. Growing up in small-town an hour and a half away, Macon was my family’s main source for retail shopping. Situated in the suburbs, the main stores we visited were vastly separated from the historic urban core, which dates back to the early nineteenth century. Then, (and even now), Macon had a bad reputation for fostering crime-ridden inner city neighborhoods, with very little development, retail, or owner-occupied residences downtown. This negative perception of Macon was not uncommon. Everyone in the state of Georgia knew to avoid downtown Macon. Even the major interstate diverts traffic from the historic urban core thanks to a major bypass. It was as if the Department of Transportation knew that no one wanted to visit the heart of Macon, so instead the bypass created a new suburban destination that catapulted drivers to Atlanta. So, when I say I never came to downtown Macon, I literally never even drove near it. Today, I live and work downtown. Continue reading