The ABC’s of Heritage Conservation (Part 2 of 3)

 

If Part 1 left you confused but less bemused hopefully the terms below will continue to explain the difference between some of our key terms. 

The Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada provides direction on how to conserve historic places. But what exactly is conservation and how does it differ from all the other “–tion” words related to historic places?  

  • Intervention:  Any action, other than demolition or destruction, that results in a physical change to an element of a historic place. 
  • Conservation:  All actions or processes that are aimed at safeguarding the character-defining elements of a historic place so as to retain its heritage value and extend its physical life. This may involve “Preservation,” “Rehabilitation,” “Restoration,” or a combination of these actions or processes. 
  • Preservation:  The action or process of protecting, maintaining, and/or stabilizing the existing materials, form, and integrity of a historic place or of an individual component, while protecting its heritage value. 
  • Rehabilitation:  The action or process of making possible a continuing or compatible contemporary use of a historic place or an individual component, while protecting its heritage value. 
  • Restoration:  The action or process of accurately revealing, recovering or representing the state of a historic place or of an individual component, as it appeared at a particular period in its history, while protecting its heritage value. 

To learn more about the above terms or to read about additional conservation terms, please review the Standards and Guidelines for the Conservation of Historic Places in Canada. The Glossary section of the Municipal Heritage Partnership Program website is also a great resource. 

Written by: Brenda Manweiler, Municipal Heritage Services Officer (with definitions from the Standards and Guidelines).

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