Tag Archives: Cathedral Square

Christchurch Cathedral : Marcus Brandt and the People’s Steeple Project

christchurch-cathedral-steeple-by-country-farm-garden-photos-cfgphoto-com-render1-1

While Bishop Victoria and the Anglican church property trust (CPT) continue to sit on their hands perhaps awaiting devine intervention, who knew, it turns out that a group of stalwart people in New Zealand – with an incredible level of international assistance – are busy planning a very special Cathedral project.

From: Mark Belton
Sent: Sunday, February 26, 2017 11:11 PM
To: [Elizabeth Kerr + RCC Mailing List]
Subject: Introducing The People’s Steeple

Dear Cathedral Restoration supporters

Below is a link to a video clip of the People’s Steeple proposal being demonstrated by its creator Marcus Brandt. Marcus has been in CHCH this last week promoting the People’s Steeple Project.

The People’s Steeple is a mind blowing proposal…audacious, visionary, inspiring. Lifting telescoping timber sections of the spire 60 metres into the sky…powered by about 500 trained people working 16 capstan winches placed around Cathedral Square, watched by up to 50,000 people in the Square.

The US based Timber Framers Guild (TFG), a professional organisation of engineers and timber framers has offered to be the lead contractor to build, assemble, and erect the People’s Steeple. The lead NZ engineers would be renowned CHCH timber engineer – Prof Andy Buchanan whose report on the project is attached.

Skilled TFG members from the US and around the world would gift their time, working in the Square preparing and assembling the timbers, and then helping lead the steeple’s erection. Up to 300 TFG members along with locals could be involved working in the Square over a period of about 6 months.

The TFG have successfully undertaken 75 community building projects over the last 25 years in the US and around the world. They are super keen to offer their services to CHCH. The TFG emphasise their projects are about ‘building communities’.

Marcus says would take only 2-3 hrs to lift and secure the telescoping sections. Flooring and bells would be assembled the same day and in the evening the bells would ring out…proclaiming to the world – ‘Christchurch is back’….and a Hangi feast would be opened…for a crowd of 50,000! International media would broadcast the event around the world…the whole enterprise being about engaging our community in the most positive way…and it would ignite fund raising for the restoration of the cathedral. It is envisaged the construction of the People’s Steeple would lead restoration of the cathedral and the Square.

It is noted huge pro bono contributions from the Guild’s members are being offered, and Blakely Pacific NZ Ltd, a US based forestry company has offered to provide the timbers at no cost from giant 125-year-old Port Orford Cedar from its Pioneer Forest in South Canterbury.

The Restore Christchurch Cathedral Group is strongly supportive of the People’s Steeple.

We hope this inspiring project will help engage and enthuse Christchurch people with recovery of the cathedral, and help get the cathedral restoration programme underway.

Warm regards

Mark Belton
Co-Chair, Restore Christchurch Cathedral

Mark Belton
Managing Director
Permanent Forests NZ Limited
PO Box 34, Lyttelton 8841, New Zealand

See attached reports by Marcus Brandt, Andy Buchanan, and the TFG.
TFG People’s Steeple Project approach notes-10-2-16
Steeple 16-8-12
M Belton report on Timber Framers Guild conf and People’s Steeple 23-9-16
Engineering the People’s Steeple v9

The People’s Steeple | Whare Films Published on Feb 23, 2017

christchurch-cathedral-tonyhphotography-co-nz-bw-render1-1

The People’s Steeple
Rebuilding the Bell Tower at Christchurch Cathedral

Marcus Brandt: An Introduction

For the last thirty years or so, I’ve been restoring historic stone and timber buildings, mostly in Southeastern Pennsylvania. I’m a working master carpenter and stone mason. Most of the historic buildings I am called to work on are 150 to 300 years old. Solid and well crafted, these old buildings tend to age well, but neglect and damage can take a toll. Much of my effort is spent in repairing and strengthening the timber frames of barns, bridges, houses, gristmills and churches. I’ve had several commissions to build new structures in the old style. I have organized and led many barn raisings, in which hundreds of volunteers gather to raise a barn’s frame in a day. A good crew will have the sides and roof on too.
Straightening, plumbing and repairing damaged stone walls is often called for. It is not uncommon to straighten a wall 10 meters high that is out of plumb by 400 or 500 mm. Having studied and worked with several Scots masons, I’m a strong believer in lime based mortars and good masonry practice. The interface between stone and timber is of particular interest to me.
Since 1989, I’ve been a professional member of the Timber Framers Guild (TFG) and a member of the Traditional Timberframe Research and Advisory Group (TTRAG). That part of the Guild focuses on understanding the past practice of the craft with a view that the past might help inform future practice. I have advised many historical and preservation societies and sat on many review boards.
As a result of my participation in Guild efforts and projects, I was invited to go to both Scotland and China to investigate “lost” technologies for the Public Broadcast Service series NOVA. We built working siege weapons in Scotland and in China we built a bridge design that hadn’t been built since the Mongol invasion.
I teach Traditional building skills at Lehigh University, Bethlehem, PA. I’m particularly interested in ways that the pre-industrial past practice can inform building in the greener, sustainable post-industrial world of the future.
I serve as a sailor, boson and ship’s carpenter aboard the tall ship Gazela (www.Gazela.org). That experience has taught me much about rigging and raising heavy loads in confined spaces. It’s taught me about erecting tall, secure, flexible, stable structures that get tossed about and shaken mercilessly. A sea captain in her own right, my wife serves as First Mate aboard Gazela. She out-ranks me, and helps keep me humble.
Since 22 February, I have been working as much as possible to develop a method to rebuild the Bell tower at Christchurch. With the help of friends and students, and the forbearance of my wife, I developed a plan that is beautiful, solid, strong, flexible, earthquake resistant, buildable, durable, and familiar. But more than anything, I want to use the rebuilding of the steeple as a vehicle for rebuilding and strengthening the community. And, once built, serve as an outward witness to the inward love we have for each other as fellow humans.
I look forward to doing this project with the able help of my best friends in the world…many of whom I haven’t yet met.

█ More information about the People’s Steeple Project and participants at http://thepeoplessteeple.org/

christchurch-cathedral-detail-mygola-com-tweaked

Related Posts and Comments:
23.12.15 Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator…
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

christchurch-cathedral-detail-with-chalice-sisson-photography-photoshelter-com

christchurch-cathedral-mudbirdceramics-blogspot-co-nz

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*Images: Christchurch Cathedral – (from top) colour render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Country Farm Garden Photos at cfgphoto.com]; black white render by whatifdunedin [photo source: Tony H Photography at tonyhphotography.co.nz]; colour photo of steeple detail [mygola.com]; cathedral with chalice by Sisson Photography [via photoshelter.com]; black white photo by Mudbird Ceramics [mudbirdceramics.blogspot.co.nz]; colour photo by Cindy taken on 5 Aug 2003 [via staticflickr.com]

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Christ Church Cathedral: practical news from govt mediator Miriam Dean QC

Updated post
Sat, 26 Dec 2015 at 3:25 a.m.

### beehive.govt.nz 23 December, 2015
Gerry Brownlee Media Release
Report confirms ChristChurch Cathedral can be reinstated

Minister for Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Gerry Brownlee says the decision by the Anglican Church to progress investigations into reinstating the ChristChurch Cathedral will be greatly appreciated by the wider community.
The Church Property Trust, which owns the Anglican Cathedral in Cathedral Square, has received an independent report from a Government-appointed consultant, who has reviewed the engineering options for the iconic city building.
“All of the parties’ engineers agree that the reinstatement of the Cathedral would require a combination of repair, restoration and reconstruction,” Mr Brownlee says. “The issue then comes back to cost and that is something the Church Property Trust will need absolute certainty of before it can commit to any work going ahead.”
Mr Brownlee says CPT is keen to enter further discussions with the Government in regard to progressing towards a reinstatement plan for the ChristChurch Cathedral, and that will happen in the New Year.
“And that is why we need to gain certainty about the affordability of this project and be able to work through the options. The positive outcome here is that there are now options to work through and that CPT is willing to do so.”
Link

███ Report on facilitated discussions with engineers on engineering options for repair, restoration or replacement of ChristChurch Cathedral. (PDF, 11.22 MB)

220211 News:Don Scott/The Press Christchurch earthquake. The Cathedral with its spire missing.Christchurch Cathedral 1 [Stuff.co.nz]Photos: Don Scott – The Press

Most of the building is intact – the scaremongering re the safety and cost of a rebuild is just that.

The Anglican Church has agreed to consider “reinstating” the Christ Church Cathedral at a press conference today.

### Stuff.co.nz Last updated 18:14, December 23 2015
The Press
Anglican Church to consider reinstating Christ Church Cathedral video
By Michael Wright
[…] A report by Government-appointed mediator Miriam Dean QC found the cathedral could be either reconstructed to be “indistinguishable” from its pre-quake self or replaced.
[…] Restoration campaigner Philip Burdon, co-chair of the Great Christchurch Buildings Trust, said he was “delighted and relieved” to learn the cathedral could be repaired, and was certain the necessary funds could be raised. “It had been the argument of the church that the building was unrepairable. The question of whether restoration was possible or not has been answered – I think that will be a considerable relief to the community.”
Read more

Yes, the Bishop is dragging her heels but MONEY might change her mind. Watch the Press video for her public statement and body language.

Earlier documents commissioned by Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), documents received 10 July 2012 via Mark Belton at Restore Christchurch Cathedral:

Christchurch Cathedral Structural engineering Review Final 27June2012
(PDF, 94.8 KB)

Christchurch Cathedral MRO prelim sketches (F)
(PDF, 3.9 MB)

Related Posts and Comments:
14.7.12 Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Rival newspaper on historic heritage #cathedral

The Press editorial, today. Balanced.

### stuff.co.nz Last updated 08:31 14/07/2012
Editorial: Anglican diocese should give account
The pause in the demolition of Christ Church Cathedral is a positive sign that the building’s fate is not sealed. Its destruction, which had seemed the inevitable outcome of the Anglican Church’s stand, is now less certain as the Government and the diocese consider the Greater Christchurch Building Trust’s report that sets out a plan for the cathedral’s conservation. The result is the sense that, for the first time, the contending parties are in dialogue.

As The Press wrote about the consecration of the cathedral, in 1881, the building is “a symbol to our children and their descendants of the spirit which animated those who projected the settlement of Canterbury, a spirit which we who have come after have, however imperfectly, endeavoured to give form and shape to”.

The previous lack of serious dialogue had raised the temperature of the debate, causing unnecessary division in a city in need of unity. Positions had become entrenched, personal accusations were too common and the tone was embittered. The pause to consider eases that tension, at least temporarily. Even if the Anglican hierarchy remains committed to demolition, the advocates of retention will at least have the consolation of knowing that they were listened to.
They certainly have given their cause the best chance of success by producing the Building Trust report. It is a considered document from prestigious engineers that gives a detailed account of how the cathedral can be saved with most of its features intact. The somewhat vague assertions that salvage was possible have now been hardened into a clear plan of action.
Read more

Commissioned by Great Christchurch Building Trust (GCBT), documents received 10 July via Mark Belton at Restore Christchurch Cathedral:

Christchurch Cathedral Structural engineering Review Final 27June2012
(PDF, 94.8 KB)

Christchurch Cathedral MRO prelim sketches (F)
(PDF, 3.9 MB)

Related Post:
2.3.12 Christ Church, Cathedral Square

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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Christ Church, Cathedral Square

### ODT Monday 19 March 2012
Precedents exist for rebuilding cathedral
By Peter Entwisle – Art Beat
OPINION Reactions to the damage to Christchurch’s Anglican cathedral say much about some individuals and potentially more about ourselves as a nation. It’s partly an arts issue but also more than that.
Built between 1864 and 1904 to the design of the British architect George Gilbert Scott – supervised and modified by New Zealand’s Benjamin Mountfort – it may not be the very finest Victorian church in the country. But it is still a notable artistic success.

Christ Church, Cathedral Square (learn more)

Canterbury was a specifically Anglican settlement. The cathedral signifies that but because of its size and prominence now also represents the city and the province. In New Zealand only the First Church of Otago has a comparable symbolism. If the Christchurch cathedral is lost we’ll be down to only one in a nation unusually lacking in enduring, built, symbols. What would we do if the Treaty House burnt down?
The Christchurch cathedral had been earthquake-damaged before the shocks which started in September 2010. After the February 22, 2011, event Earthquake Minister Gerry Brownlee, no friend of heritage, included it on a short list of buildings which should be restored or rebuilt. An overseas donor stumped up $4 million. Further earthquakes did more damage.
The Anglican Bishop of Christchurch, Victoria Matthews, was ambivalent about the old building from the start. She wondered aloud if a new cathedral should be constructed somewhere else? Recently she announced the old building will be ‘deconstructed’ – she means ‘dismantled’ – to a height of 2-3 metres, and not rebuilt.
She said building a replica would face the Diocese with a $100 million shortfall while a new building incorporating some of the old would leave it up to $50 million out of pocket. Other people have different figures. The Mayor, Bob Parker, acknowledging the wider public interest, offered to take the building into public ownership to provide a broader funding base.
The Bishop refused, now insisting the site must remain in Anglican hands. She also declined to reveal the information on which her decision was based.

How do people handle these things elsewhere?

In England the 14th-century cathedral at Coventry was badly damaged by air raids on May 14, 1940. Later the ruins were stabilised and became part of a new complex designed by Sir Basil Spence and opened in 1962 to critical acclaim.

Coventry Cathedral

In Dresden in Germany the Baroque cathedral (1726-1743) was almost entirely destroyed in an Allied bombing attack on the February 14, 1945. Later a replica was built, incorporating a few surviving fragments and consecrated in 2005, also to great acclaim. (Images show the few original stones as darker, evocative amongst the lighter new.)

Incorporating a few surving fragments…Dresden’s Frauenkirche

These were responses to man-made disasters but what about earthquake-damaged buildings?

The Basilica of St Francis of Assisi in Italy was hurt by numerous earthquakes in the centuries after construction began in 1228. But never so badly as by two which struck on the September 26, 1997. Several people died in the second, members of a party inspecting the wreckage caused by the first. (This was memorably captured by Italian television and endlessly repeated.) The large complex was closed for two years, restored and strengthened. Now it hosts worshippers and visitors again.

Basilica of St Francis of Assisi

Similarly, the church of San Francisco in Santiago in Chile had been regularly quake damaged and restored since construction began on an elaborate replacement of an earlier church in 1558. But a particularly severe quake caused great destruction on March 3, 1985. It was restored again and now houses a museum as well as being a place of worship – and a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Church of San Francisco in Santiago

What should happen in Christchurch? In each of the cases mentioned, the church, often with the help of a wider community, endeavoured to keep part of the old while restoring or building anew. Where destruction was most complete – Dresden – a faithful replica was built, incorporating the sadly few remnants, in what might be described as a typically Teutonic exercise of vigorous communal will.
We are not faced with anything so challenging. But obviously some of us are daunted or perhaps just unwilling.
The old false dichotomy of whether we should value people or buildings has been paraded again. It’s a fallacy because, if you care about people you should care for the things they care about – and they care a lot about buildings which are symbols. This is not ‘reverence for bricks and mortar’ but reverence for the things they mean.
Christchurch cathedral is not only a place of worship. It already was a symbol of Canterbury. Rebuilt, keeping and evoking as much of the old as possible, funded by and useful to the wider community, it would symbolise national endurance. “Look”, it would say, “We are human and vulnerable. But we recover and overcome adversity.”
What price do you put on that?

• Peter Entwisle is a Dunedin curator, historian and writer.

The article was published in the Otago Daily Times on 19 March 2012.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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