School building to reopen after repairs

CHARLEY MANN
Last updated 10:06 24/05/2012
Inveresk

100 PER CENT: The Inveresk building in Armagh St will be reopened tomorrow following earthquake repairs.

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One of the oldest buildings in Christchurch will reopen tomorrow after significant earthquake repairs.

Armagh St property Inveresk, built between 1863 and 1878, became part of Cathedral Grammar School in 1972.

It was the fifth house in the city to be connected to the sewer system and one of the first 12 to be connected to the electricity network in the 1890s.

Principal Paul Kennedy said it had been repaired and strengthened to meet 100 per cent of the new building code.

''We decided to put a significant amount of work into the restoration, rather than see it demolished,'' he said.

''It's a wonderful example of what can be done in terms of rebuilding.''

Inveresk will be reopened tomorrow afternoon by Crusaders rugby coach Todd Blackadder and Anglican Bishop Victoria Matthews.

Repairs will begin tomorrow on the school's 1913 heritage block.

History of Inveresk

Number 17 Armagh St was granted to the Church Property Trustees in 1858 and some time between 1863 and 1878 a small, single-storey cottage was built on the site.

In 1879, John Anderson Jr bought the property.

Anderson (1850-1934) was the son of John Anderson (1820-1897), the second mayor of Christchurch in 1869 and founder of the Canterbury Iron Foundry in 1857.

The family arrived in Christchurch on the Sir George Seymour, one of the First Four Ships.

Anderson was highly active in Christchurch. He was a member of the city council, president of the Canterbury Agricultural and Pastoral Association, director of the New Zealand Shipping Company, a member of the Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of governors of Canterbury College.

He married Frances Pratt in 1879.

Pratt was the daughter of William Pratt, who owned drapery business Dunstable House, which formed part of Ballantynes in 1872.

In about 1880, Anderson added a two-storey Gothic portion to the south and west of the original cottage.

In 1890, he added an ornate single-storey villa to the south of the Gothic portion.

One of the Anderson's daughters, Dorothy, cared for her parents and remained at Inveresk until her death in 1967.

The house was sold by the family to the Church Property Trustees, which transferred it to the Cathedral Grammar School Trust Board in 1972.

Inveresk then became the headmaster's residence.

In 1994, Cathedral Grammar School announced the formation of a new girls' school and that Inveresk would be removed or demolished to provide a site for the new premises.

After intervention by the Christchurch City Council and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust, the school decided in 1995 that the house could be renovated to serve this purpose.

Architects Trengrove and Blunt carried out the alterations.

In 2001, Cathedral Grammar applied for resource consent to demolish the rear sections of Inveresk and replace them with a two-storey structure to provide more classroom space for the girls' school.

The demolition was opposed and after consultation the application was withdrawn.

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