Railway station turns to rubble

17:47, Nov 01 2012
Steam still ruled the rails when the Christchurch Railway Station on Moorhouse Avenue was built in 1960, in a bold modernist style and faced in red brick.
When rail traffic declined, the building - photographed here in 2003 - got a new lease on life as the joint home of Science Alive and a Hoyts multiplex cinema.
The September 4, 2010, earthquake marked the beginning of the end; Mayor Bob Parker went up in a basket to inspect the long cracks in the brick veneer and the clock, stopped at the time of the quake.
The brickwork was shored up in the hope of repairing the building, and the clock was restarted just a few days before the February 2011 quake changed everything. By August 2012 the decision was to demolish and here the clock faces are removed by crane.
The last gasp: only a few columns remain as demolition is completed this week.

Little remains of Christchurch's old railway station in Moorhouse Ave.

The building, which housed Science Alive! and a Hoyts multiplex cinema, was damaged in the Canterbury earthquakes.

Ben Dormer, of Dormer Construction, said demolition was "right on schedule", with the last of the structure pulled down on Wednesday.

All that remained to be removed was the basement, he said.

He expected this would take until the end of the year.

A proposed $52 million redevelopment to replace it includes a piazza, an eight-screen cinema, a nine-storey, 80-room hotel, a playground, a rooftop restaurant, a bar, shops and a gymnasium.


Developers hope to complete the entertainment precinct by November next year, with the hotel tower completed in 2014.

The plans are for the 11,000 square metres of the site owned by Lisa Abbot and do not include the 6000sqm owned by Science Alive! on the eastern corner.

Science Alive! is eyeing a possible move to the city centre but has not ruled out a return to this site.

The Press