Tag Archives: Heritage assets

Demolition by neglect. Townscape precincts.

About which, belated (after parapet failure) “buying of engineering opinion” can make sure historic buildings come down for car parks.

On Friday, Karen Ratten of St Kilda had a letter to the editor published, ‘Why the long delay in demolition?’ (ODT 29.6.12). Ms Ratten is firstly concerned about three car parks being currently unavailable for use outside Brocklebanks Building in King Edward St, South Dunedin. She then asks why the hold up with the building’s demolition?

The question could have been, why is demolition of the listed building required at all (the building has facade protection in the district plan and is located in a listed townscape precinct) – if it’s to create interim on-site parking? Given it was (still is!) possible to tie the building together and restore it, or retain the historic facade and erect a new building behind – thereby removing the public safety issue altogether.

DCC’s Alan Worthington, Resource Consents manager, provides reply including an inference (we’re way past generalities here, Alan) that archaeological authority processes required by New Zealand Historic Places Trust for the building have contributed to delay of demolition. This is not so. He then intimates something more useful, saying: “At the same time there may be other matters the building owner is dealing with.” Bingo. Just maybe, the Brocklebank family trust hasn’t finalised building plans in order to apply for resource consent. Who knew!

The other site…

### ODT Online Sat, 30 Jun 2012
Buildings’ demise imminent
By Debbie Porteous
Scenic Circle Hotel Group director Stuart McLauchlan confirmed a crane that went up behind the N. & E.S. Paterson Ltd and Barron buildings in Rattray St this week would be bringing the partially demolished buildings down within “days”. Two separate sections of the 136-year-old Barron Building collapsed in January 2011; parapets fell on to the roof causing it to collapse inwards onto the second storey.
Read more

The Barron Building, originally known as the Banks, Barron & Co. Building, was designed by architect Henry F. Hardy, and constructed circa 1875. The Victorian-era warehouse later received a very fine interior by architect Owen E. MacFie. The first bottling plant for Speights was housed in the basement (still intact) – potentially, a stunning adjunct to Speight’s Alehouse and heritage tours.

According to specialist engineers the Barron Building could have been saved following collapse of the parapet.

Keeping up a building of this scale is not usually prohibitive, cost wise – it does require diligence. It can ‘come down’ to having motivated owners and investors.

Long before parapet failure, Barron Building required conscientious owner-stewards to carry out cyclical maintenance (seeing to weathertightness, gutter cleaning, keeping pigeons out, removing vegetation and trees from mortar, repointing and so on) and regular structural assessment towards enhancing building performance – with all resulting work to be costed and carried out in stages (at its most affordable – given that for many many years Dunedin City Council has practised leniency towards building owners in regards to bringing buildings up to code).

All the people saying pull the old buildings down because they’re “eyesores” (see ODT news report above) and asking why private building owners should be put to the cost of saving old structures like these – the answer, respectfully, is that they need to get out a bit, to see for themselves what’s actually going on in the neighbourhood.

Building owners (good investors), with vision and means, are set on maintaining, strengthening and upgrading their heritage buildings. Their efforts are attracting higher paying tenants; and incrementally/cumulatively they are raising property values in the old CBD. It’s known as “regeneration”. If you’re a building investor who isn’t participating in this upward movement (where’s your diligence?) and your property is going backwards, you need to ask yourself what’s the sense in being left behind? Get educated. Those caring for heritage building stock are starting to make real money now and for the long term. They’ve done their sums, they know what it takes.

A sizeable cluster of Dunedin’s historic buildings in the area have been or are in the process of being strengthened and re-used. They include (no particular order): Old BNZ Bank, Standard Building, Old National Bank, Bing Harris Building, Clarion Building, Bracken Court (Moray Pl), Queens Garden Court, NMA Building (former Union Steam Ship Co, Water St), former Rogan McIndoe Print Building (Crawford St), 14 Dowling St, Garrison Hall (Dowling St), former Stavely Building (cnr Bond and Jetty Sts), Wood Adams Building (19 Bond St), former Chief Post Office, former Donald Reid Store (Vogel St), Milne Brebner Building (Vogel St), 366 Princes St… and more besides.

Again, WHY are we losing the likes of Barron Building, N. & E.S. Paterson Building, and Brocklebanks Building?

If you are a heritage building owner wanting to access available information that could help you conserve, strengthen and save your building, contact Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner (Heritage) phone 4774000 – or Owen Graham, NZHPT Area Manager (Otago Southland) phone 4779871.

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### ODT Online Tue, 7 Sep 2010
Measures urged to protect heritage buildings
By John Gibb
Relatively cheap and simple measures can protect many of Dunedin’s heritage buildings from much of the kind of earthquake damage evident in Christchurch, structural engineer Lou Robinson says.
Read more

Related Posts and Comments:
8.5.12 Owners of neglected buildings
25.8.11 180 Rattray St, Dunedin: Proposed historic building demolition…
12.4.11 Public outrage – SHAME on those re$pon$ible for building neglect
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
19.2.11 Owner of Dragon Café/Barron Building has lodged an application…
26.1.11 D Scene: Honour heritage
22.1.11 SAVE Dragon Café / Barron Building – Sign the Online Petition
13.1.11 Barron Building and Rattray Street
13.1.11 Banks, Barron & Co Building Collapse pics

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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