Context 140 - July 2015

26 C O N T E X T 1 4 0 : J U LY 2 0 1 5 Hearth Revolving Fund,Northern Ireland’s most active building preservation trust, was able to acquire Riddel’s, thanks to support from the local charity Ulster Garden Villages. It is early days yet, but Hearth’s proposal to restore the warehouse as a home for the Royal Ulster Academy and gallery space for the city’s burgeoning art scene promises to be an exciting restoration that preserves this unique building while opening it up to a whole new public. As Belfast City Council takes on new planning powers, we hope that it will provide support for schemes like this that retain the best of the past while moving into a future with shared heritage and shared ambitions. Marcus Patton is director of Hearth, a housing association and revolving fund building preservation trust, and author of the forthcoming second edition of Central Belfast: an historical gazetteer, published by the Ulster Architectural Heritage Society. The front elevation of Riddel’sWarehouse (Photo: Marcus Patton) The galleried interior of Riddel’sWarehouse (Photo: Marcus Patton) Far right: Carved detail on Riddel’sWarehouse (Photo: Marcus Patton)