Building Stories Podcast - Meaford Town Hall

Friday, January 31, 2014

Meaford Town HallWATERLOO, January 31, 2014 – On Monday, February 3, the 15th and final episode of the Building Stories Podcast series will be released. The episode will feature Meaford Town Hall in the town of Meaford, Ontario.

The Meaford Town Hall was built as hub of the town and serve the community in various ways. It has served as market place, council chambers, town offices courtroom, library, ballroom, meeting areas, boy scout hall, police department and a jailhouse. However, in 1992 the building was vacant. The Meaford Group, later the Meaford Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) raised $15,000 to complete a feasibility study. From this study came ideas, projected costs and a business plan to support the new layer of life for the building. John Kerr, Heritage Meaford Chapter of the ACO , chaired restoration committee, speaks to the changes and challenges that were made and overcome in the restoration process. The podcast also includes an interview with Susan Lake, the manger for cultural services for the Town of Meaford since 2007.

The podcast will be available to listen to on the Building Stories website at www.buildingstories.co under the ‘Publicity’ tab. It will also be attached to the Building Stories entry for Meaford Hall a featured location on the website’s home page. The first 14 episodes of the podcast series focused on the London Life Insurance Building in London, Victoria Hall in Cobourg, Keefer Mansion in Thorold, the Stratford Historical Plaque Program, Victoria Jubilee Hall in Walkerton, Camp 30 in Bowmanville, the Guelph Civic Museum, the Maclean House in Toronto, the Mary Webb Centre in Chatham-Kent, Union Cemetery in Port Hope, the Lister Block in Hamiltion, the Heritage Resources Centre, the Eby-Hallman House in Waterloo, and the Sheave Tower in Cambridge. They are also available to listen to on Building Stories.

Meaford Town Hall is just one of the interesting properties included in a book that the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario has released to celebrate their 80th year. Titled “80 for 80: Celebrating Eighty Years of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario”, the book tells the stories of 80 buildings that the ACO has saved or helped saved. It is now available for order on the ACO’s website at www.arconserv.ca.

Building Stories is a website and mobile application that enables Canadians to take a direct role in identifying important community heritage assets. Building Stories is an incredible new on-line resource making thousands of original documents, photos and historical records available online from a wide variety of communities. The website engages the public in a way that has never been done before to help explain the importance of heritage in communities across Canada.

Dr. Robert Shipley, Director of the Heritage Resources Centre, states: “Through being able to use the inventory tool in a web-based and interactive way, it will allow communities and individual citizens to take a direct and active role in identifying the significant and valued structures that make up such a vital part of the country’s heritage assets. There has never been anything like this and the result will be to magnify and expand both interest in, and understanding of our built environment.”

Currently, the website includes entries from every province and territory in Canada. However, Building Stories will continue to grow into new communities, as new collections and archives are added to the fully searchable database, and as individuals comment on existing listings and contribute their own sites with stories, memories, digital artifacts, and photographs.

Building Stories has been developed by the Heritage Resources Centre (HRC) and the Computer Systems Group, both at the University of Waterloo, and the Centre for Community Mapping (COMAP).

The development and creation of The Building Stories Podcast series have been made possible by the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario and the Government of Ontario. The podcasts have been written, produced and hosted by Amy Barnes, a Heritage Consultant from Cambridge, Ontario.

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For more information please contact:

Melissa Davies
Building Stories Project Manager
Heritage Resources Centre, University of Waterloo

mbdavies@uwaterloo.ca

519.888.4567 ext. 36921

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