Tag Archives: Urban renewal

Hotel We LIKE: Distinction Dunedin Hotel at former CPO

Reopening the former Chief Post Office building “marks a significant milestone for the restoration project, with more tenants, a three-level car park building and, eventually, the 120-apartment four-star-plus Distinction Dunedin Hotel, all to follow”. (ODT)

CPO Dunedin Chief Post Office 1930s [rootsweb.ancestry.com] re-imagedDunedin Chief Post Office (1930s)

### ODT Online Tue, 25 Mar 2014
Office workers light up CPO
By Chris Morris
The return today of a commercial tenant to Dunedin’s former chief post office building for the first time in more than 15 years marks a significant milestone in the restoration project. About 145 staff from Silver Fern Farms are expected to start work in their new headquarters – occupying the first two floors of the partially-restored building – this morning. It was the first time the building had been home to a permanent tenant since closing its doors in 1997, building owner Geoff Thomson, of Distinction Hotels, said.
Read more

Dogged controversy.
Submissions in opposition to the proposed waterfront tower hotel at 41 Wharf Street (LUC 2012-212) make frequent mention of a preference to see the old Chief Post Office restored and in use as a city hotel in The Exchange.
Dull criticism from the anti-heritage brigade has often been cast at the old building’s owner for lack of speed in making the redevelopment happen.
Geoff Thomson, a canny and diligent man, has proceeded with the retrofit of this very large government architect-designed building at the pace he can afford in the up-down market he faces. Geoff Thomson deserves significant praise for his passion and perseverance in seeing the project through as well as attending to quality tenanting and leases.

[history and significance]
█ Heritage New Zealand (HNZ) registration report: List No. 2145 (Category II)

CPO reroof (May 2011). Gerard O'Brien [odt.co.nz]Photo: Gerard O’Brien – Reroof, May 2011

Related Posts and Comments:
22.6.13 Dunedin’s former Chief Post Office
5.3.11 Former Chief Post Office, Dunedin – magazine feature…
14.8.2010 No surprises with former CPO redevelopment
12.5.10 DScene – Geoff Thomson buys back former CPO
11.5.10 DCC Media Release – Chief Post Office
16.3.10 Planning the future of Dunedin heritage buildings [recent comments]
10.11.09 Dunedin public library services
24.10.09 Rodney Wilson: Dunedin as national heritage city
20.7.09 DCC + former CPO + others(??) = a public library (yeah right)

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: rootsweb.ancestry.com – Dunedin Chief Post Office (1930s) re-imaged by whatifdunedin; odt.co.nz – Gerard O’Brien: CPO Reroof, May 2011 [screenshot]

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Cities: Organic renewal

St Joseph - Buchanan County Courthouse [commons.wikimedia.org]St Joseph -  Downtown cnr Francis St and North 4th St [commons.wikimedia.org] 1St Joseph - Downtown skyline 2006 [commons.wikimedia.org] 1St Joseph, Missouri

### Citiwire.net Fri, July 5, 2013
Organic Renewal: St Joe’s Story
By Roberta Brandes Gratz
In the mid- and late 1960s, while many cities and towns were still tearing their hearts out for the false promises of urban renewal, all sorts of people, young and old, saw the beauty, value and promise of gracious living in historic buildings in the places left behind by suburban development. From San Francisco to Louisville to Providence to Brooklyn to St Louis and beyond, urban pioneers stripped, cleaned and restored the irreplaceable artifacts of bygone eras of quality and taste.
Those pioneers were the vanguard of the regeneration of neighbourhoods and cities that, today, many people do not remember were considered a blighted lost cause. Washington’s Georgetown. Park Slope in Brooklyn. King William in San Antonio. The Garden District in New Orleans. The Victorian Districts of San Francisco and Savannah. Who remembers that those neighbourhoods were once considered “blighted,” over, finished?

Surely, this is the most compelling storyline of the second half of the last century. The rebirth of today’s thriving cities started with the rediscovery of yesterday’s discards. That, as they say, is history. But history has a funny way of repeating itself. Today, one finds examples of that organic renewal process re-emerging.

Many cities have lost more than what remains of the authentic architecture on which to build a new momentum. Miraculously, one that survives with an amazing rich legacy to work with is St Joseph, Mo.
Set on a bend in the Missouri River and almost equidistant from Kansas City and Omaha, St Joseph was a railroad, lumber and banking centre and, most importantly, the last full provisioning point for the Westward Expansion in the mid-nineteenth century. It’s the birthplace of the Pony Express, the site of Jesse James’ demise, home of Stetson Hat, Saltine crackers and Aunt Jemima.
St Joseph is still home to a diverse assortment of agriculture-related industry. The past and present combine to offer new opportunities, and a small but growing group of adventurous entrepreneurs appear to be present to lead the way, like the urban pioneers of 50 years ago.
Read more

● Roberta Brandes Gratz is an urban critic and author of The Battle For Gotham: New York In the Shadow of Robert Moses and Jane Jacobs, 2010, Nation Books.

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Dunedin - South Princes St (2007), watercolour by Elizabeth Gorden-Werner

Dunedin City Council – Media Release
Grants Scheme for Central City Heritage Buildings

This item was published on 05 Jul 2013.

The DCC now has $90,000 available in grants for heritage building re-use projects in Princes Street and areas adjoining the Warehouse Precinct. Like the Warehouse Precinct scheme, this new grant scheme is focused on a specific geographic area to facilitate and expand the regeneration occurring there already. There has been good success with targeted incentive schemes in the Warehouse Precinct. Expanding into the areas around it recognises that the precinct is not an island, but is integrated with the areas around in and with the central city as a whole.

There is already some great work stirring regeneration in the area and it is important we are also poised to assist and encourage others to participate in this regeneration of the area south of the Octagon.

Applications can be made for support for a range of activities, from earthquake strengthening and facade restoration to assistance for businesses and creative industries in the area. The scheme allows building owners to build on the growing positive private sector re-use and investment in the area, such as the Chief Post Office, former BNZ and Standard Building restoration projects already or soon to be underway.

The scheme is supported by Resene Paints which is offering discounts on paint and free colour advice. Resene Otago Trade Representative Henry Van Turnhout says, “We are proud to be offering our support to another DCC area-based project, as we have for King Edward St and the Warehouse Precinct. We are also offering free assistance with colour selection as we recognise how greatly appropriate colour choice can influence the way a building – and an area – looks.”

Taking an area-based approach to regeneration and incentives encourages businesses and building owners to work together and to recognise the benefits for the entire area of re-using or improving their building.

Applications are open immediately, on a first come first served basis. Application forms will be sent to building owners, residents and businesses owners in the next week and are at www.dunedin.govt.nz/heritage

Last year’s Warehouse Precinct grants scheme supported 11 re-use projects in the area. Information about these is available at here.

Contact Glen Hazelton, DCC Policy Planner on 477 4000.

DCC Link
ODT: DCC boost for Princes St regeneration

Dunedin - Former Gresham Hotel IMG_9518 (2)Dunedin - Speight's IMG_0586 (2)Dunedin Central Fire Station, Castle St 2 [commons.wikimedia.org]Dunedin. In future years, the council plans to use this approach in other parts of the central city and beyond.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

*Images: (from top) commons.wikimedia.org Tim Kiser – St Joseph, Missouri (2006): Buchanan County Courthouse, Downtown cnr Francis St and North 4th St, Downtown viewed from the east near cnr 10th and Charles. Dunedin: South Princes St (2007 watercolour by Elizabeth Gorden-Werner), former Gresham Hotel at Queens Gardens, Speight’s (Lion Breweries) on Rattray St; commons.wikimedia.org Benchill – Dunedin Central Fire Station, Castle St.

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Urban migration… don’t say decay

@restorm Urban restoration is the best solution to urban decay. http://bit.ly/chIzyc

Urban Restoration
The direct solution of urban decay is urban restoration. Others call it urban renewal. This does not only cover the restoration of structures of trade and commerce but also the ecological interconnectedness of an urban place to its people.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

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‘The scrum and fray of urban life’

Book Review

### thenation.com March 18, 2010
Living for the City: On Jane Jacobs
By Samuel Zipp

This article appeared in the April 5, 2010 edition of The Nation.

Cities, Jane Jacobs famously observed, offer “a problem in handling organised complexity”. In her first and still most famous book, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961, Jacobs argued that cities are not chaotic or irrational; they are essentially systems of interrelated variables collected in an organic whole. The challenge, she wrote, was to sense the patterns at work in the vast array of variables. Something similar could be said for writing about cities. How does one coax the thread of a narrative from the scrum and fray of urban life?

In Twenty Minutes in Manhattan, Michael Sorkin, an architect and critic, makes like Jacobs and immerses himself in the rhythms and patter of the street. He has shaped his book according to the contours of his daily stroll across a dozen or so blocks of Lower Manhattan, from the top floor of his five-storey Greenwich Village walk-up to his office in TriBeCa. Walking, Sorkin writes, is “a natural armature for thinking sequentially”, providing opportunities for heady musings on all manner of city life. Yet his peripatetic narrative is anything but linear. Proving there’s a raconteur in every flâneur, Sorkin unspools strands of free-floating observations about a scattered array of urban issues and gathers them into a loose weave along his path downtown. Any full accounting of his rambles would be impossible, but he manages to ruminate on landlord-tenant troubles, the 1811 Manhattan grid, historic preservation, the “ratio of tread to riser” on apartment stairs, elevator etiquette, zoning and housing codes, rent control, the theory of montage, green roofs, public art, crime, gentrification, traffic, urban renewal and public-private partnerships. He also takes diversions into the city thinking of Walter Benjamin, Michel de Certeau, Ebenezer Howard, Jacob Riis, Le Corbusier, Henri Lefebvre, the Walt Disney Company, the Situationists, the New Urbanists and, of course, Jane Jacobs. It’s a primer on what one might call the “New York school” of urbanism.

Sorkin is a congenial, sometimes irascible guide. Ever the Manhattanite, he lambastes oblivious SUV drivers, callous landlords and “Disneyfied” urban environments (an undying spark for his ire), but he is also aware of his own foibles, including his tendency to lapse into “high ethical mode”. Sorkin’s musings–outrages and enthusiasms alike–converge around his sensitivity to the restless yet productive tension between the city’s role as both public sphere and commercial marketplace, and the intermingled chances city life offers for making meaning and making money. For Sorkin, the city’s hum and buzz is the sound of an endless “dialogue of desire and demand” and the pitched voices of “poets” and “bandits” jostling for each and every advantage.

(via The Nation)

Other reviews:
metropolismag.com
reaktionbooks.co.uk
amazon.com

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In March 2002, the Masterclass! programme hosted two world leaders in architecture and urban design. The British Council, Montana Wines, Fullbright New Zealand and the New Zealand Institute of Architects (NZIA) jointly delivered a stimulating programme led by Kelvin Campbell from the United Kingdom and Michael Sorkin from New York.

The Dunedin Masterclass! and Urban Design Masterclass! Lunch were held with assistance from NZIA Southern, Dunedin City Council and Southern Urban Design Forum.

Post by Elizabeth Kerr

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