Daily Archives: January 13, 2011

Barron Building and Rattray Street

David Murray, Assistant Archivist (Archives & Manuscripts) at the Hocken / Uare Taoka o Hākena, University of Otago, has kindly fowarded three historical images for readers’ interest.

Circa 1880 photograph of the Barron building, JW Allen photographer
Hocken Collections [c/n F405/16]

Circa 1920s photograph of the building
Hocken Collections [c/n E2851/36]

Rattray Street circa 1900
Hocken Collections [c/n E3856/42]

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Update 14 January 2010:

Images by Paul Le Comte

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Banks, Barron & Co Building Collapse pics

Early removal of the Parapet of the historic building. Literally brick by brick. They then took the skip down to the ground, I walked around the other side to get a pic and then the remaining section of parapet falls down onto the Dragon Cafe Verandah – my moment of photo journalism genius missed. Argh.

Showing the newly exposed inner of the ceiling cavity.

Destruction of the Verandah with the rest of the double bricked Parapet collapsing to the ground. Sadly imagery very familiar to folk from CHCH post earthquake.

The Council engineers and Historic Places Trust experts examining the Parapet, ceiling cavity and facade of the building. Speaking to experts on the ground, after the collapse of the Parapet onto the verandah new increased structural damage was done, to the extent that the double skinned brick facade was thought to be tentatively holding on to the structure – but little visible sign of actually what was holding the facade on was seen. Also fresh cracks were found on the south wall, large enough to see through the wall onto the Crown Hotel.

[Click for larger image]

After consultation with experts and engineers, it was decided to keep on with the softly softly, brick by brick approach. For this I love the Lund team taking the time and effort to do this. That bloody bush proved to be a pain for them.

[Click to enlarge]

Unfortunately they couldn’t stop everything from crashing down. This pic showed debris falling down as they try to remove a large section of the parapet. The random tree had its roots embedded very deep into the structure of the building. Reports were that there were inches of bird poo, birds nests everywhere and rotten timbers that made up the roof. Thus bricks and mortar work was rotten to the core. You could certainly see the demo team taking only soft hits to the brick with a rubber mallet to remove much of the parapet bricks.

Salvage/Demo Team

Basically the whole of the parapet of the building has gone, some fallen onto the verandah below, but much of it taken down over hours brick by brick. The plan was to go down only as far as they need to. If more damage occurred, more cracking etc, and if the engineers say, then another layer of the upper sections will be removed. They are planning to take away large sections of the Northern Wall tomorrow, as that has a huge lateral crack running the length of the wall.

Back of the building [Click to enlarge]

Posted by Paul Le Comte

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