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


 The final segment of this series ends with the middle – the letter ‘M’. 

‘M’ is the most important letter in the heritage conservationist’s alphabet. Maintenance is the best (and cheapest) way to maintain a historic place, and minimal intervention is always the desire when completing an intervention. 

  • Maintenance:  Routine, cyclical, nondestructive actions necessary to slow the deterioration of an historic place. It entails periodic inspection; routine, cyclical, non-destructive cleaning; minor repair and refinishing operations; replacement of damaged or deteriorated materials that are impractical to save. 
  • Minimal intervention:  The approach that allows functional goals to be met with the least physical intervention. 
L to R: Larry G. Potter and Don Totten

In the above photo Larry G. Potter and Don Totten conduct routine maintenance on the Canadian National Railways Steam Locomotive 6060 Provincial Historic Resource. Click here to read the Locamotive’s Statement of Significance on the Alberta Register of Historic Places.

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. 

Did we miss something? Would you like us to discuss a term not mentioned in this series? Do you want more information on one of the terms we have defined? Submit a comment to this blog post and we will prepare a response. 

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

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