Tag Archives: Heritage advocates

Owen Graham, heritage advocate

Owen Graham [odt.co.nz] re-imaged 3

### ODT Online Sun, 20 Oct 2013
Wins and the odd loss in preservation game
By Rosie Manins

Owen Graham, of Dunedin, counts the preservation of the Athenaeum Library in the Octagon as one of the highlights of his six years as the Otago-Southland area manager for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
Longtime heritage advocate Owen Graham hopes his grandchildren will benefit from his work to preserve Otago’s history.
Mr Graham recently ended his six-year tenure as the Otago-Southland area manager for the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT).
The Dunedin resident spent about 26 years before that in a similar role for the Department of Conservation, and said going into the corporate industry after more than three decades working for the Government was a refreshing change.
His work to advocate the values of heritage throughout the region was often met with opposition and was not without controversy.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
9.4.13 DCC sells Athenaeum, 23 The Octagon
9.6.12 City Property to compete more obviously in the market…
17.1.12 DCC living beyond its means [all spending and debt not declared]
21.2.11 The proactive heritage development lobby EXISTS in Dunedin

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Image: odt.co.nz – Owen Graham, re-imaged by Whatifdunedin

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Letter from Christchurch – it’s bad

WHAT DO RED STICKERS MEAN NOW?

Just had a long and rather unpleasant shake as I began to write. I am not certain how many demolitions have taken place with independent engineering advice that the buildings are OK. I know of one definite case in Lyttelton and we had a very close call with the Tunnel building. Transit had the diggers in place ready to demolish. A tenant alerted a friend who got on to NZHPT who actually got their engineer onto the case promptly. He said the damage was minor and Transit backed down (probably because they have a memo of understanding with NZHPT).

In the CBD owners have of course been unable to get independent experts in but decisions are being made to demolish simply because buildings have been red-stickered. The red sticker means they are unsafe to enter as it stands – it should not mean automatic demolition. It involves no judgement as to whether the building could be restored if appropriate shoring up took place. At present owners are being given 24 hours notice that a building is going to be demolished with little possibility of influencing the decision and no chance to recover possessions.

I will try to get more details on the process or lack of it at a meeting I am going to tomorrow. We have received calls from a number of distressed owners who have valuable property in buildings which they believe can be restored but who fear that they will lose both building and contents without being able to do anything about it.

The general approach seems to be that any reasonably undamaged buildings in a block are just a nuisance and will slow down the process of clearance – that it is more efficient to clear out everything (this is the view of somebody working hard to prevent listed buildings from being demolished).

Another reason behind the demolition of red-stickered buildings is that the demolition companies apparently get the materials and contents as salvage – so we have been informed by an antique shop owner who defied the red stickers (in a suburban area) in order to recover stock ahead of the demolition crews.

I will try to get more details to you tomorrow, it is clear that there are owners who want to restore their buildings but are simply being told they have to come down and that is that.

{Names removed, letter received by What if? on Tuesday 12.07am. -Eds}

“DEMOLITION CREWS, THEY’RE WORSE THAN THE LOOTERS.”

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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