WHAT IF? CORRECTION
This post has been changed on receipt of information from Christchurch to confirm The Press mis-reported which building had been demolished in Hereford Street.
On Friday, a week-long moratorium on demolition was announced for Christchurch, a pause… it didn’t save the Old Trust and Loan building,
and the Olympia building.
“Unfortunately Saggio di Vino has gone and they had done so much to try and save it since the first quake. The most appalling thing though is that as well as demolishing the old Trust and Loan building over the weekend – an important Mountfort commercial building, which was badly damaged and probably had to come down, but should have been taken apart carefully – they also demolished the strengthened Olympia building next door which housed Vivace, a popular café.
The owner was not notified, even though he was known and had been part of the delegation. He is furious. They had told Civil Defence that they wanted to get out equipment and the Olympia was not dangerous at all.
All the books in the bookstore on the top floor were destroyed as well, so two tenants have had their livelihoods destroyed in the process of taking down a strengthened and largely undamaged building. It also took them ages to destroy the built-in safe (and what was inside it) from the Trust and Loan.
In the process of this demolition of the pair of buildings they also knocked a hole in the wall of Shands Emporium, the little wooden commercial building next to the NZHPT Southern Regional Office building (Shands was wrongly reported in The Press as having come down).
So much for the moratorium. Was it over-ruled from above or by council officers, some of whom it seems have considerable sway over what has been happening.
The owner of the above buildings who been very responsible about strengthening his buildings has also been denied permission to bring his engineer and builder into the city to ensure that ones which are still standing can be shored up to stop further damage happening from the aftershocks. Because they are not listed – but make an important contribution to the character of the city – they could be pulled down with not even the cursory process which applies for listed buildings.”
Anyone reading this has to think, unhappily, on the one hand ’emergency powers’, on the other ‘sick process’. Buildings will have to come down – the wrong people are making some ad hoc ‘demolition’ decisions. Why are they so uninformed, is it Brownlee up their backs? These particular decision makers, on the hoof, are another blight on Christchurch which already suffers too much.
16 March 2011 The Press has made a correction to this item (in italics here).
### thepress.co.nz Last updated 05:00 15/03/2011
Business people want answers
By Olivia Carville
A Christchurch business owner was shocked yesterday when he learnt his central-city building had been demolished. Peter Scalia, who ran Fortuna Books from Shands Emporium on Hereford St, said neither he nor the building owner or leaseholder had been warned of Sunday’s demolition.
“I want to know who authorised it and why we weren’t contacted. If they can demolish the building I was in without any notification, are they going to do it to other buildings?” he said.
Shands Emporium is still standing. Fortuna Books was part of Shands Emporium but in a separate building.
Scalia registered as a central-city business owner last week to gain access to the building and retrieve essential items. However, he said he never heard from authorities.
“I did everything I knew to do. I am really surprised I didn’t even get called before they bowled it. If they had of given me five minutes in there, I could have grabbed my safe, my passport and other documents. Why was it demolished yesterday, why could it not have been tomorrow? I could have been in there today.”
8.3.11 LostArtChch website to identify items at risk #eqnz
Posted by Elizabeth Kerr