Tag Archives: South Princes Street Townscape Precinct

Empire Hotel, 396 Princes St, Dunedin

### ch9.co.nz December 8, 2011 – 6:22pm
Historic Empire
Established as the Queen’s Arms in 1858, the building now known as the Empire Hotel has been nominated as a Category 1 building with the Historic Places Trust. Category 1 is the highest listing a building can achieve, and has benefits especially for aging structures.

NZHPT Nomination for Registration:
EmpireHotel.ashx (PDF, 1.38 MB)

Empire Hotel, 2008. Photo: Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Heritage, Inspiration, Politics, Project management, Site, Town planning, Urban design

Historic heritage up in flames, illegal apartment at 389 Princes St, Dunedin

### ODT Online Wed, 17 Aug 2011
Crews tackle central Dunedin fire
Five buildings were evacuated and one person taken to hospital as fire crews battled a blaze in an historic building in central Dunedin this afternoon. The fire, in an apartment above a second-hand bookshop, near Chipmunks south of the Exchange, was extinguished just before 3pm. Crowds gathered as flames shot out of the second storey of the S F Aburn Ltd building at 389 Princes St.
Read more

ODT Video: Princes Street Fire
Ch9 Video: Lucky escape in Princes Street apartments


### ODT Online Thu, 18 Aug 2011
Women flee building fire
By Debbie Porteous
Frightened flatmates ran for their lives as a fire ripped through a central city Dunedin building yesterday afternoon. Crowds gathered in Princes and Bond Sts yesterday afternoon to watch the Fire Service battle the blaze that gutted an apartment above second-hand bookstore Raven Books, at 389 Princes St.

The Dunedin City Council confirmed yesterday it had no record of the building being upgraded to provide sleeping accommodation.

The building’s owner Patrick Rainsford, who also runs Raven Books, did not return calls last night. His address as listed in the phonebook is 389 Princes St.

Read more

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

Images ©2011 Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Construction, Heritage, Media, People, Town planning

Prista Apartments: Dunedin’s goldrush-era heritage won’t fall over, unless you make it

Today, I was handed a B/W photocopy poster…

To find out more about early Dunedin and why people want to save these buildings, join the Gathering!

The buildings are located in the South Princes Street Townscape Precinct, and their facades to Princes Street are protected in the Dunedin City District Plan.

Nearby we have Jetty Street, so named because it was the main point of entry, by jetty, to colonial Dunedin’s commercial heart. The original harbour edge (before reclamation occurred) was in very close proximity to Princes Street.

These are not the first buildings erected in the street, they are the more solid ‘replacements’ financed on the proceeds of the Central Otago goldrush. They date to the 1860s-70s. They are a rare and unique remnant of a significant time in Dunedin’s commercial history and establishment.

The buildings are intact and, according to one of New Zealand’s leading structural engineers, Lou Robinson of Dunedin (a recognised specialist in earthquake strengthening), the facades are “simple” to strengthen and retain. The cost of retaining the facades is not prohibitive.

The same follows for the buildings themselves given their brick construction.

The Dunedin City Council “is of a mind” to grant the application to redevelop the site for apartments, with ground floor retail and first floor carparking – conditional to the applicant providing a new facade design that better meets the townscape precinct values.

Why would anyone take out authentic heritage fabric and replace it with what we hear could be mimicry of Victorian/Edwardian building details.

The Christchurch-based developer has been asked to submit a new facade design by 1 July 2010.

“Counting down” is a poor turn of phrase in the circumstances.

The organisers of the Save Historic Buildings Gathering welcome your participation this Saturday.

Those interested in earthquake strengthening, sustainable built environment, sustainable building approaches, embodied energy and lowering our carbon footprint can swap notes at the Gathering.

Keeping the buildings and adaptively re-using them, given their handy location in the CBD, is not just about aesthetics, cultural history and bygone eras, it’s also about preserving our heritage as a generator of economic development and attending to the quality and identity of ‘our place’.

[updated 18.6.13]

Related Posts and Comments:
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
15.9.10 Prista Apartments: Wrote this. Said this with a slight variation http://bit.ly/cTOrhv
13.9.10 Same again, Dunedin City District Plan about to be ignored
11.2.10 Note to DCC, via New Jersey
24.1.10 Prista Apartments: 372-392 Princes St and 11 Stafford St

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Construction, Design, Economics, Geography, Project management, Urban design

Prista Apartments: 372-392 Princes St and 11 Stafford St

UPDATE: It’s now August 2010 and we’ve had the last hearing under the resource consent process. There’s been two years of processing. See comments on this thread for more.


[24 January 2010] This week, we’re within cooee of a resource consent decision on the Prista Apartments development proposal – waiting with baited breath.

This one’s about demolishing District Plan protected facades, which all along the developer has demonstrated no wish to retain – or to explore as a design solution (it’s never been on the table).

One of our leading structural engineers tells us the facades – and the buildings themselves – are straightforward to retain and strengthen, at not so very much cost comparatively.

Does the city value its area potential?

The application has been processing for a year or more. Will the pending decision bring joy, sadness, utter hopelessness – or sheer grunt work for anyone prepared to test it?

Given the nature of the Dunedin City District Plan considerations and the heritage issues at stake, ALL EYES ARE PAINFULLY GLUED.

[updated 18.6.13]

Related Posts and Comments:
4.3.11 Reaction to another instance of unthinking ad-hocism from City Hall
15.9.10 Prista Apartments: Resource consent Decision + Appeal
13.9.10 Same again, Dunedin City District Plan about to be ignored
4.5.10 Dunedin’s goldrush-era heritage won’t fall over, unless you make it
11.2.10 Note to DCC, via New Jersey

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr


Filed under Architecture, Economics, Politics, Town planning, Urban design