Tag Archives: Conservation plan

Prison revives for visitor experience

### ODT Online Sat, 29 Apr 2017
Tourism intended for prison
By David Loughrey
Dunedin’s old prison has four new trustees, a new tenant with the tourism market in mind, and is ready to move to a new stage in its evolution. The 121-year-old Victorian-style courtyard facility designed by John Campbell has been returned to its original form. Work to replace decorative architectural elements removed from the front of the building was completed recently. Now the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust is turning its attention to future uses for the former jail that is one of the city’s more unusual historic buildings. The prison was decommissioned in 2007, and the trust bought the property in 2012. Trust chairman Owen Graham said the physical restoration work was 95% complete — ridge tiles and two 2-metre finials still had to be finished — but it was time to start a new stage of evolution for the building. The new trustees had been appointed for their range of skills and backgrounds, and would help the trust make decisions about what happened next. Those decisions could range from another part-upgrade or “go for a multimillion-dollar effort”. […] Mr Graham said part of the trust’s strategy was to start occupying parts of the prison to sustain its activities and “bring the prison back to life with different activities”. It had been working with a business that wanted to use the prison’s kitchen, which had been identified as “serviceable”.
Read more

The former prison has a Heritage New Zealand category one classification; future development involves discussion with Dunedin City Council and Heritage New Zealand.

Dunedin Prison | http://www.dunedinprisontrust.co.nz/

[excerpt from the trust’s website]

Timeline
Showing the many phases of use of the prison:
1896-1915 – new prison opened with cells for 52 men and 20 women
1915-1959 – Police move in to administration block and look after prisoners as well as their own duties
1959-1974 – 34 female prisoners are accommodated, segregated from men
1975-1994 – reopened catering for 59 male inmates
1994-2000 – Police move out to their new premises and prison reverts to original purpose as a men only facility
2007 – prison decommissioned and Corrections operation moved to Milburn
2011 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust formed to secure the prison for the nation
2012 – Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust raises $50,000 to allow it to purchase the property from Ngai Tahu Property Ltd
2014 – Conservation Plan completed
2015 – Fund-raising begins to allow us to restore the facades and repair part of the slate roof, estimated at $500,000.

Related Posts and Comments:
17.9.15 Dunedin Prison: Community Trust grant for restoration
16.9.15 DPAG exhibition talk, Sun 20 Sep —Jonathan Howard on Dunedin 1865
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
30.8.15 DPAG exhibition | Dunedin 1865: A City Rises…
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 ‘The Open City’ … 29 Aug
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 Shoreline Trail launch
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage
28.2.13 Tour the old prison in March (2013)
20.9.12 Dunedin Prison
6.6.12 Dunedin Prison purchased by trust
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust
5.10.11 Training, jobs, city regeneration

█ For more, enter the term *heritage* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

This post is offered in the public interest.

*Images: whatifdunedin sketchbook – Dunedin Prison (former)

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Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Crime, DCC, Design, Dunedin, Economics, Education, Finance, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Innovation, Inspiration, Leading edge, Media, New Zealand, People, Pet projects, Project management, Property, Public interest, Resource management, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Urban design

Dunedin Prison: Community Trust grant for restoration

39 Dunedin Television Published on Sep 17, 2015
Historic prison restoration gets kickstart

● Resource consent granted for conservation and repair
● Funding from Otago Community Trust
● New visitor centre
● Prison tours
● Restaurant for courtyard

### dunedintv.co.nz Thu, 17 Sep 2015
Historic prison restoration gets kickstart
A $90,000 grant is kickstarting the project to restore Dunedin’s historic prison to its former glory. The money will enable the Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust to start exterior repairs. And that means members are finally able to turn their vision into reality.
Ch39 Link

[click to enlarge]DCC Webmap - 2 Castle Street (former) Dunedin PrisonDCC Webmap – 2 Castle Street, former Dunedin Prison [Jan/Feb 2013]

Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust

Related Posts and Comments:
16.9.15 DPAG exhibition talk, Sun 20 Sep —Jonathan Howard on Dunedin 1865
7.9.15 Public petition to save Courthouse for courts use
30.8.15 DPAG exhibition | Dunedin 1865: A City Rises…
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 ‘The Open City’ … 29 Aug
23.8.15 1865 Dunedin —Heritage Festival 2015 Shoreline Trail launch
11.7.15 Dunedin Law Courts “an incredible historic building” –Minister
14.5.15 Russell Lund on Ministry closure of Dunedin Law Courts
14.5.15 Justice at Dunedin
2.5.15 Ministry serves INJUSTICE for Dunedin Courthouse #HistoricHeritage
28.2.13 Tour the old prison in March (2013)
20.9.12 Dunedin Prison
6.6.12 Dunedin Prison purchased by trust
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust

█ For more, enter the term *heritage* in the search box at right.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

12 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Heritage, Heritage NZ, Inspiration, Media, Name, New Zealand, NZHPT, People, Project management, Property, Site, Structural engineering, Tourism, Town planning, Urban design, What stadium

Dunedin Prison

Events Notice:

New Zealand Historic Places Trust
Otago Branch Committee AGM

TONIGHT
Thursday 20 September 2012, Dunedin Railway Station café
6:30pm to 8:30pm

Guest speaker: Stephen Macknight (structural engineer)
EQ-prone Buildings – The Way Forward

### ODT Online Thu, 20 Sep 2012
Spend a little time inside, for a fee
By Hamish McNeilly
From next month the doors to the 116-year-old Dunedin Prison will be opened to those wanting a tour of the historic property. The Dunedin Charitable Trust bought the prison for $20,000 in June, after Ngai Tahu deferred its Treaty right to buy the surplus property. Trustee Sarah Girvan said while dates were not yet finalised, small group tours to see the “bare bones prison” were likely to begin next month for a donation of $10 per person. Donations would go towards the prison’s conservation plan – expected to begin in November – and which would “identify our next step in terms of redevelopment”.
Read more

Related Posts:
6.6.12 Dunedin Prison purchased by trust
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

11 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Construction, Design, Economics, Events, Fun, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

Dunedin Prison purchased by trust

### ODT Online Wed, 6 Jun 2012
Trust to develop Dunedin prison
By Hamish McNeilly
Ambitious plans for the 116-year-old Dunedin Prison have been locked down, with confirmation the historic property has been sold to a trust intent on transforming it into a tourist attraction. The Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust has bought the property for an undisclosed sum, after Ngai Tahu deferred its first right of refusal to buy the surplus Crown property.

It was envisioned the first stage could be completed by the end of next year to capitalise on the cruise-ship market, and the prison’s location between the Dunedin Railway Station and the upgraded Otago Settlers Museum.

Trust chairman Stewart Harvey said the sale was the culmination of a year of discussions between both parties, and the trust was “extremely grateful to Ngai Tahu for their generosity and co-operation”. The trust was now able to begin fundraising for the estimated $2.6 million needed for the first stage of the prison redevelopment; with the ground floor likely to include a cafe, office areas, function areas and a “prison experience” tour.
Read more

About Dunedin Prison
[Source: New Zealand Historic Places Trust]
Plans for the new Dunedin Prison were completed in 1892 by John Campbell (1857-1942), Government Architect. Modelled on New Scotland Yard, the prison was designed in a Queen Anne style including cupola domes, dormers, striped brick and Oamaru stone elevations, and fine detailing. The layout consisted of four blocks surrounding a central courtyard. Construction was delayed as the Dunedin community felt the central site could be better utilised. Work finally began, however, in 1895. The exterior was finished by April 1897 and on 16 June 1898 the prison was occupied.
Summary
Full registration report

Hocken Snapshot: Dunedin Prison (rendering)

Related Post:
18.10.11 Dunedin Prison Charitable Trust

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

13 Comments

Filed under Architecture, Business, Design, Economics, Heritage, Inspiration, Media, Name, People, Project management, Property, Site, Urban design

Besides a stadium development for Dunedin! More harping.

Dunedin’s “heritage tourism” future…

What if? has a recent thread The Chronicals of Yarnia (formerly known as “What else! Future options for Dunedin include…”), a temporary hold-all for ideas that with exploration could benefit Dunedin’s liveability for future generations.

Yarnia is a deliberately “loose” thread. The name change resulted from the thread’s capture by writers revisiting stadium and council politics about which they feel deeply. This was NOT talking up Dunedin’s potential, however. Other writers responded in the intended spirit of the thread, for this (sigh) we warmly thank them.

When a topical item like the “prison one” below comes up by media or other avenue, we like to give the people involved front billing at What if?. Similarly, in future, we will highlight the suggestions, knowledge and expertise, for example, of people like David and Phil who regularly post at What if?. If you read the Yarnia posts, you’ll quickly understand why.

Envisioning complementary components of Dunedin’s future – our shared business future – will always be more valuable economically and culturally than becoming subservient to the burdens (real or fictional) of the stadium project, an ad hoc project for which a community consensus never happened. The stadium has arisen due to powerful political dealings, and leanings.

The stadium is a rather small and probably unsustainable component of what Dunedin means to residents and visitors, if the community would agree some projects that add to the cultural depth and understanding of our place.
(well OK maybe the stadium does some of this…)

As the historic phenomenon Dunedin truly is – the heritage component of the city has been uncoordinated as a planning strategy for generating “wealth”. It hasn’t been ideationally explored or positively exploited to express our contemporary selves. How did we miss that obvious track?!

Concrete strategy, coordination and excellence are sorely needed, from entrepreneurial people who passionately love Dunedin for its heritage potential, like nowhere else.

The last three words are heavily inscribed with meaning.

****

Local resident and retired chartered accountant Stewart Harvey has been interested in the fate of the old Dunedin Prison for many years.

### ODT Online Thu, 3 Dec 2009
Opinion: Unlocking old jail’s potential
By Stewart Harvey
Stewart Harvey argues that the Dunedin Prison is too precious to be simply turned into another backpackers or restaurant. Instead, he suggests, it could become a heritage tourist attraction.
Read more

I absolutely support Stewart’s views about the way forward for the prison building’s future. Further, I would expand on these to comprehensively “read” the cultural and economic significance and business potential of not only the immediate heritage precinct, but also the CBD area as a whole.

This will be explored in future posts, and by transferral eventually to the new duned.in website blog Paul is templating now (it’s true, good things take longer).

****

Back to the old prison.
Some prominent heritage persons in town have continually “missed the bus” in describing (unresearched) options for the historic building’s future use – including visitor Neil Cossons – by thinking that more intrusive adaptive reuse is the way to ensure its business viability.

I’m a great supporter of adaptive reuse, but NOT for Dunedin’s old prison. The building has more value to the regional economy if its internal fabric is retained largely as is – we need to maintain the original fabric and partitions, and adapt our human behaviour and activities within it to fit, to create the viable business footing.

The parties quietly calling for irreversible upheaval of its interior (they wouldn’t put it like this; it would be the cumulative effect), such as the Southern Heritage Trust, are approaching the building’s future use wrongly in terms of watering down its potential impacts. These “impacts” are the building’s selling points (deliberately not defined here).

Stewart Harvey is a man of foresight, visitation and research. His idea to link what could happen at the prison to what may at the Dunedin Courthouse – in explaining the region’s legal and criminal history, including the insuperable ties to the Faculty of Law at University of Otago – provides very rich pickings indeed.

A few years ago, as NZHPT Otago branch chair, I was consulting alongside NZHPT staff on the redevelopment of the Dunedin Courthouse. Aside from site meetings about building redevelopment matters, we met several times with Courts Manager Maria Bradshaw to discuss the setting up of a Friends of Dunedin Courthouse organisation, at her behest. The Friends role, in conjunction with Courts officials, would oversee the building’s future public visitor, fundraising and events potential, to assist projects providing on-site explanation, exhibition, enactment and interpretation of the history and persons associated with the Dunedin courts. Sadly, the Friends idea lost momentum following the Court Manager’s relocation to Auckland.

As Stewart implies, it’s time to organise an interested body of people with historical knowledge and business expertise, that can decide the future of the prison building.

And yes, I will push the notion further by saying we should “straightaway” be looking at the prison and the courthouse buildings combined as a sound heritage tourism destination within the immediate heritage precinct…discovering a purpose that fits comfortably alongside schedules imposed by the courts’ routine workday operations.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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