Carlton Hotel rebuild begins

MICHAEL WRIGHT
Last updated 13:26 26/11/2012
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THE ORIGINAL: The first Carlton Hotel, pictured in 1885.

new carlton hotel
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THE NEW: A revised perspective drawing of the new Carlton Hotel from Chris Prebble Architects.

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The controversial third incarnation of the Carlton Hotel is underway.

Construction of the new building on the corner of Bealey Ave and Papanui Rd starts this week, with the pub scheduled to open in July 2013.

The former, heritage-listed, Carlton Hotel was built in 1906 and demolished after being badly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.

The first hotel on the site was built in 1865. It was sold to Ward's Brewery in 1902 and demolished.

The design of the new building drew controversy when it was released in May, with heritage advocates decrying the departure from its predecessor's historic look.

The two-storey steel structure features zinc panelling, plate glass and European cladding.

As well as the pub, it will house a Burger King restaurant and have office space upstairs.

Publican James Murdoch said the interior would capture the building's history.

''The whole things going to be around the Carlton history. The original saleyards, before they went to Addington, were out the back of the Carlton and we've found a whole lot of old prints and memorabilia.

''It's not an Irish bar, it's not an English bar, it's sort of a British-y bar in a way."

Heritage advocates' criticisms of its design were misguided, Murdoch said, as every building erected on the site had been in contemporary style.

''People keep bringing up 'it's not built the way it was' but the one prior to this one wasn't built 'the way it was'.

''The original pub was an old weatherboard place. If people could see what the old one looked like they'd get a bit of a fright."

Many earthquake rebuilds would be built ''in era'', he said.

''The era at the moment is 2012." 

The new Carlton would be built to 130 per cent strength of the building code.

A safe, affordable building was more important than one that replicated its predecessor, Murdoch said.

''I've got no qualms with the city contributing to the Cathedral [but] certain commercial buildings and aspects, cost-wise and physically, probably can't be recreated."

The pub and the Burger King would create more than 90 jobs when they opened.

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