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According to definitions in the Burra Charter , appendix II, 1. Child b: defines restoration as alteration beyond that necessary for preservation. In reality, a building is unlikely to be retained if it is not economically viable, so any restoration can be called preservation. This has certainly not occurred at St Pancras. ECCO define restoration as stabilisation of an object, facilitating its appreciation and use when it has lost part of its significance. Far more than stabilisation has occurred at St Pancras.

Adaptive Reuse of Heritage Buildings

A mix from several previous states has been preserved and reinstated. This is impossible, not only because of the extensions, but because removing the marks of time does not bring the station back to an earlier state. The only things truly restored are its intangible qualities, its conceptual integrity. Earl 5 believes that architectural journalists view preservation as sterile and frozen in time, and conservation as imaginative adaptation, a creative activity. Again this description cannot apply to St Pancras.

St Pancras has been brought to a sounder state, but the message has become confused. Villers 9 states that conservators must accept that objects will change over time. Conservation is a way of managing change and intervention is a relative treatment. Highly skilled work that does not involve total demolition is termed building conservation Earl St Pancras would fit their definition of conservation.

The Burra Charter 1. This initially appears to allow the work at St Pancras to be defined as conservation, but their further qualification disproves this concept 1. The changes at St Pancras have been too extensive. St Pancras station would therefore not qualify as a conservation object, and need not be conserved. It is nevertheless an object of value and it must still be classed as heritage. The recent treatment of St Pancras is not dissimilar, but has been variously named by different stakeholders: Lansley et al.

The greatest omission of this paper has been lack of stakeholder consultation due to constraints of time and resources. More detailed information regarding the true motivation behind decisions could be generated through interviews with English Heritage, the architects, the Secretary of State and the building contractors. It would also be interesting to explore the concept of proportion, i. St Pancras is a monument to Victorian architecture and industrialism that has largely survived the passage of time and the events that have claimed many other historic stations.

St Pancras has been transformed not only into a major transportation hub, but can be seen as a monument to how we currently treat our built heritage.


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This study has highlighted how ethical principles and language have been used in both planning applications and public announcements to justify the developments, but have been inconsistently applied. The principles of conservation have been used to validate opposing actions where convenient to the developers.

Although it may never be known whether the preservation of historic fabric represented material fetishism or was financially motivated, the end result is a magnificent, sustainable station, the majority of which is not only accessible for our use, but will also be preserved for future generations. Historical integrity has been compromised, but conceptual integrity has been regained.

Accountability and the pursuit of excellence have been achieved, although honesty and loyalty, the remaining ethics featuring in our society, were observed only sporadically. Conservators now recognise the necessity of adaptive ethics. Conservation is value-led; the economic significance of the station, its retail opportunities and its contribution to the improvement of the local area for the public were considered the most important values. Recurrent themes within the planning application were public benefit outweighing loss and bringing neglected heritage back into sustainable use.

This is the argument of risk assessment: cost against benefit, the wider benefit being the sustainable regeneration of the area. Faced with the certainty of complete loss, the overall action of recycling St Pancras can be seen as necessary and ethical.

“Heritage Counts”, Reflections on Cultural Heritage Theories and Practices

Although not conservation, this is disaster mitigation. The reality is that buildings must be altered and some ethics be contravened, or the building will be lost to neglect or demolition. The principle value of St Pancras is as an active transportation hub and compromises have had to be made to preserve it. Overall this has been an amazing rebirth for a station once designated for demolition…St Pancras the Phoenix figure A listed building can only be demolished, extended, or altered with special permission from the local planning authority.

Grade I is the highest level signifying buildings of exceptional interest. LCC agreed but requested that the arch be re-erected elsewhere, to which British Rail replied that the cost would be too great. British Rail was privatised in The author is also very grateful to staff at the Institute of Archaeology University College London , especially the library staff and dissertation supervisor John Merkel. I would also like to thank my parents and husband for their unfailing encouragement, and the editors of this journal for their advice.

All pictures are taken by the author. Allfrey, M London: Routledge, pp. Andrew, C Webster, R G M ed. Towards an Aesthetic Theory of Building Soiling. Proceedings of the International Conference. Applebaum, B Criteria for Treatment: Reversibility.

Journal of the American Institute for Conservation 65— Appleyard, D Rome: Tipografia Olimpica, pp. Argent Unpublished report held in the Victorian Society archives ,. Ashley-Smith, J The Ethics of Conservation. The Conservator 6: 1—5. The Interface between Science and Conservation.

The British Museum Occasional Paper London: The British Museum, pp.

Ball, S London: Museums and Galleries Commission. Betjeman, J London: John Murray. Biddle, G Newton Abbot: David and Charles. London: Historical Publications Ltd. Bomford, D Restoration: Is it Acceptable? Bracker, A and Richmond, A Conservation: Principles, Dilemmas and Uncomfortable Truths.

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The Institute of Historic Building Conservation

Oxford: Butterworth Heinemann, pp. Bradley, S St Pancras Station. London: Profile Books. Brick Development Association St Pancras International. Burra Charter Code of Ethics and Guidance for Practice. Caple, C London: Routledge. Child, R E a. Museum Ethics. London and New York: Routledge, pp. Child, R E b. Clavir, M Studies in Conservation 43 1 : 1—8.

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Vancouver: UBC Press. Clifford, H London: Donhead. Cruickshank, D Gothic Revivalist. Architects Journal , November 20 57— Davies, P London: The Holborn Society. Unpublished report. Unpublished letter held in the Victorian Society archives , February 12 Davies, K Luxury Hotel to Go Back on Track. Hampstead and Highgate Express , March 25 Derbyshire, A The University of York. Drdacky, M and Galova, M Management of Visitors in World Heritage Sites.

Dunnet, J Unpublished letter held in the Victorian Society archives ,. Dykstra, S W Journal of the American Institute for Conservation — Earl, J Building Conservation Philosophy. Shaftesbury, Dorset: Donhead.