Discussions on what steps need to be taken to retain heritage landmarks will become clearer once public safety is assured and emergency services have declared the sites safe.
NZHPT offers support in any capacity
NZHPT Information release
24 February 2011
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) will work with Civil Defence, emergency services, the Christchurch City Council and government agencies in any capacity required following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that struck Christchurch on Tuesday.
“Public safety is the absolute priority,” said NZHPT Chief Executive Bruce Chapman. The greatest tragedy has been the significant loss of life and injuries to many people. With a state of emergency declared we will respond to any request for assistance.”
The scale and extent of multiple building collapses particularly in the city centre was considerable, Mr Chapman said. The NZHPT-managed Timeball Station in Lyttelton had also suffered serious damage.
“Once public safety is assured and emergency services have declared the sites safe NZHPT staff will work with owners and other agencies to assess future options.”
Staff from Wellington and Dunedin are assisting NZHPT’s Christchurch-based staff. NZHPT Link
Full heritage assessment some time off
NZHPT Information release
25 February 2011
Discussions on what steps need to be taken to retain heritage landmarks will become clearer once public safety is assured and emergency services have declared the sites safe, says the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).
NZHPT Chief Executive Bruce Chapman is in Christchurch to support the organisation’s staff and to begin assessment of the damage to Christchurch’s heritage buildings. Once the all-clear had been given to access the central city a more detailed assessment will be able to be made in consultation with the council, structural engineers, owners and government agencies.
“Clearly damage to landmark buildings such as the Provincial Chambers, The Press building, the Arts Centre, the Basilica, and the Anglican church in Cathedral Square are significant. The NZHPT-managed Timeball Station has also suffered serious damage.
“These buildings are much-loved, iconic landmarks that helped to tell Christchurch’s story and have made the city the special place that it is and what locals and visitors readily identify with.
“There is no easy answer to whether Christchurch can rebuild its damaged historic buildings. Once the full extent of damage is known then discussions can begin on how Christchurch can rebuild, what buildings it can retain and the costs involved.
“But that’s a conversation that no one is having right now. Like everyone else our thoughts are firmly on the safety of people in the city, and with the remaining rescue and recovery work.”
Mr Chapman said there were a huge number of buildings needing to be assessed on a case-by-case basis, but the people of Christchurch and the rest of the country were already commenting on the enormous sense of loss felt for the city’s character.
“This seems likely to be a discussion that many people will want to take part in.” NZHPT Link
### stuff.co.nz Last updated 05:00 01/03/2011
Lives before Christchurch earthquake damaged historic buildings
By Kate Chapman
Historic Places Trust chief executive Bruce Chapman agreed many older buildings may be too dangerous to save. Others were repairable. Engineers were beginning to assess central city buildings from the outside. “The indications at this point are that many of those iconic buildings are indeed repairable, including the cathedral, which is good news but that’s going to take some time and there may actually be some deconstruction required first.”
There was a risk of a rush to demolish old buildings, particularly in residential areas, Mr Chapman said. The Christchurch Heritage Buildings Fund was available to building owners who needed financial assistance to restore their property. “There are some tough calls to be made there and we wouldn’t want to put buildings before people, that’s for sure.”
The current earthquake code applied retrospectively to all buildings, and the heritage buildings with strengthening fared better than some modern buildings, Mr Chapman said. “Where it’s practicable we would really like to see those buildings carry on, particularly the iconic buildings … that history, now, is going to be associated with survival.” But there was also an opportunity to create new history, such as was done with the art deco buildings in Napier after the 1931 quake. Full story
Historic Timeball Station to be dismantled
NZHPT Information release
4 March 2011
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT) confirmed today that the Timeball Station in Lyttelton is to be dismantled. One of 48 properties nationwide cared for by the NZHPT, Timeball Station is a Category I historic place and internationally significant because of its maritime history.
“It is with enormous regret that we must take this step, but public safety is paramount. People around the world have seen images of the extensive damage caused by the quake on 22 February, which has compounded damage sustained in the earthquake on 4 September last year,” said Chief Executive, Bruce Chapman.
“Our decision is based on specialist engineering information and guidance, as any decision about heritage buildings damaged in the quake should be. “The Timeball Station is too damaged and too dangerous for us to consider anything other than dismantling, but this work will pose problems.
“This is an extremely difficult site. It was chosen as a building site over 135 years ago for the Timeball Station because of its elevated position, allowing ships to see it clearly from the harbour. That’s now working against us. The steep site means there’s no way to drive on and the potential to position a crane, below or above it is very limited. We are constrained not only by issues of access, but also by the risk of injury to any personnel who will need to be involved with this work. We are not prepared to put anyone’s life at risk. That said, if we can find a way to dismantle the Timeball Station that allows us to retain as much of the building’s materials as possible, we will do so. This site remains significant and we would hope that in future we can do justice to this important building.”
Plans for the dismantling process are under development and the NZHPT remains hopeful that the Timeball mechanism can be recovered.
“NZHPT is looking at all possible options for the reconstruction of the tower. But it may be some time for that decision to be made.”
Read the full Information release to learn more about the Timeball Station.
### nzherald.co.nz 10:26 AM Monday Mar 7, 2011
NZPA and NZ Herald Staff
No desire to bulldoze Christchurch – Brownlee
New Zealand Historic Places Trust chief executive Bruce Chapman last week said much of Christchurch’s heritage could be saved. Restoring the city’s history had a role to play in its recovery from the February 22 earthquake, he said.
“In my view most of the most iconic buildings in Christchurch will survive. We think it’s important these buildings are in fact repaired. In future they’ll be important symbols.”
He supported strengthening surviving heritage buildings so they could resist future earthquakes. But he acknowledged there would be some iconic buildings that would have to come down.
“There is a lot of significant heritage – particularly churches – that may not be able to be saved. And that’s going to be a tragedy.” Full story
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr