Trust aims to restore Christchurch's heritage gems

The Isaac Theatre Royal ceiling dome.
The Isaac Theatre Royal ceiling dome.
The barrel-vaulted ceiling of Trinity Congregational Church.
The barrel-vaulted ceiling of Trinity Congregational Church.
St Cuthbert's Church, Governors Bay.
St Cuthbert's Church, Governors Bay.
Layers of old wallpaper at Riccarton House.
Layers of old wallpaper at Riccarton House.
A fireplace at the Cranmer Bridge Club.
A fireplace at the Cranmer Bridge Club.

Canterbury heritage buildings are being saved by a trust that has raised and spent millions to help restore them.

The Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund has granted about $9.5 million to help restore 19 earthquake-damaged buildings, including the Arts Centre, the Canterbury Club, the McKenzie & Willis building in High St, the Isaac Theatre Royal facade and Knox Church.

The trust has targeted a further 11 heritage buildings for restoration funding, including the Christchurch Club, the former Trinity Church in Worcester St and the Christ's College dining hall.

To qualify for help, the building must be privately owned and the owner must be committed to restoration.

The Government has pledged to match donations up to $10m, with $2m still to be matched.

An exhibition of specially commissioned photographs of Canterbury heritage buildings the trust wants to help will officially open tomorrow in Worcester Blvd.

Architectural historian and trust fundraising manager Kristina Pickford said the exhibition aimed to highlight the plight of Canterbury's historic buildings.

"I think a lot of people think we have lost everything, but there are a lot of gems that are still surviving," she said.

Photographer Richard Mahoney took the images used in the exhibition.

"I just wanted to record what was there," he said.

"Some of these buildings may not survive and so these images were possibly a final record," he said.

Canterbury