Pillar to post project for landmark site

HANK SCHOUTEN
Last updated 09:42 08/03/2014
Evening Post building
STRENGTHENING HISTORY: The Zephyr@82 building on Willis St, formerly the Evening Post office.

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Work has started on strengthening another Wellington landmark - the former Evening Post building in Willis St.

The heritage-listed building, now called Zephyr@82, was rated as earthquake-prone and would be lifted to about 90 per cent of new building standard by the time work is completed later this year, said Zephyr Consulting director Graeme McInteer.

The project involves micro- piling to improve the foundations and installing k-braces around the lower four levels of the six-storey building.

Bracing on the front of the building will be installed internally to preserve the heritage character of the Willis St facade.

McInteer was reluctant to disclose the full cost of the project, which was supported with a $60,000 heritage grant from the Wellington City Council.

The project was timed to start following the expiry of Rip Curl's lease of the ground floor.

The building dates back to 1928 when it was designed by William Fielding and built by Fletchers Construction for Blundell Bros, publishers of The Evening Post.

It was a very prominent building in its heyday.

A famous photo taken on the night of the 1935 general election showed a crowd of thousands filling Willis and Mercer streets to watch results being posted on a huge board mounted on the front of the building.

After the Post's merger with morning paper The Dominion, the building was renamed Press House and it was sold in 2002 after the two papers shifted to offices in Boulcott St.

Major tenants include Zephyr Consulting and Shephard Dunphy accounting.

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- The Dominion Post

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