Stewart Dawson yellow-stickered

Last updated 09:26 24/01/2013
Stewart Dawson

Shaky corner: From left, Poy's Building, Stewart Dawson Building and Fletcher's Building have been yellow-stickered by Wellington City Council.

Stewart Dawson yellow sticker
New display: Yellow earthquake-prone stickers have be put in the window of the landmark Stewart Dawson building.

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Yellow earthquake-prone notices have appeared in windows of Wellington's historic Stewart Dawson building on the corner of Willis St and Lambton Quay.

The category 1 heritage building has been considered potentially earthquake prone by Wellington City Council since July, but it was only publicly listed and yellow-stickered last month.

Council spokesman Richard MacLean said the building was stickered because the council had not heard from the owners.

"It's still only considered potentially prone because the owners haven't given us anything to say that it isn't," he said.

"The onus is on the owners in this situation. If they think that it's not quake prone, then we would love to hear from them."

Property manager Saatyesh Bhana from Argosy Property Management said the owners of the building were not convinced the building was a risk and were waiting for the results of an engineering report.

"Getting one in Wellington at the moment is crazy, especially with the Christmas and New Year holiday period. We hope to receive one soon," he said.

The Stewart Dawson building, designed by William Chatfield, was built in 1901 for Stewart Dawson jewellers, an international firm based in London.

The building was owned by descendants of the Dawson family until 1983.

Mr MacLean said the building had twice previously been strengthened.

"Factors of concern are its age, the fact it's made of brick and its location," he said.

"Some of the buildings on the site have been strengthened in the past, but the rules keep on getting ratcheted up, so it may require it again."

The council's heritage listing for the building said it was strengthened in 1983 and in 1997.

The neighbouring Poy's Building, built 1887, and Fletcher's Building, built 1900, are also considered potentially earthquake prone.

A fourth building, behind Stewart Dawson, was built after 1976 and was currently outside the scope of the buildings being assessed by council, Mr MacLean said.

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- The Wellingtonian


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