The heritage movement is now widespread in North America and many people appreciate the importance of heritage buildings in the urban fabric. However, in the mid-1960s in Victoria, this was not the case. It is remarkable, therefore, that the City Planner, Roderick Clack, was able to spearhead the revitalization of Bastion Square as a heritage precinct which earned it the prestigious Massey Award at the time.
Clack created the modern Bastion Square. First, the streets were closed to traffic and walkways and the main pedestrian portion of Bastion Square was created. Previously, cars drove from Langley Street to Wharf Street and could even drive on Chancery Lane that wraps around the west and north sides of the Maritime Museum. The derelict buildings were assembled and redeveloped under strict guidelines for heritage conservation. Adaptive reuse was the key.
Bastion Square is an important heritage precinct in Victoria. It was the northern edge of Fort Victoria and became the centre of civic life during the gold-rush era and afterwards. Some of its buildings are among the oldest in Old Town and many are landmark structures in the city.