When you walk around Launceston you simply cannot avoid that ‘old town’ feeling.
The streets are lined with 19th century facades and Georgian homes which tell stories of a bygone era.
While some may believe maintaining these structures is a sign of a ‘backwards city’, I’m of the opinion we must cherish what is left of the rich history that our town was built on.
To be able to step into a building and imagine those who walked there before, centuries ago, is an incredible opportunity and one which I think a lot of us take for granted.
Visiting a hotel in Evandale this week I learned about its colourful past. Beneath the property were the remnants of convict cells which were believed to have housed some our most infamous criminals.
While the building may have deteriorated slightly over time, it stands strong. And were it not for its historical value the chances of it being demolished could have been high. However it has managed to survive more than 160 years and to this day is a successful business contributing to Tasmania’s economy.
My point, in general, is that it is incredibly important to remember the value of our past and what it can teach us moving into our future. While we are quick to scoff at many of these buildings due to their lack of a fresh and modern appearance, they represent the start of industries, the beginning of businesses and the lineage of local families.
I say this with the CH Smith site in mind.
Yes these buildings have become rundown, dilapidated and frankly a safety risk, but why did we allow it to get to this point?
If we are to be a city that respects our past and values our heritage, we must discover a way to correctly preserve it. Rather than simply destroying what we no longer see as relevant, let’s find a balance and align our heritage with the city we have become.