Technology to save Trinity Church

CATE BROUGHTON
Last updated 08:42 09/06/2012
Trinity Church
CAN BE SAVED: Richard Lloyd says stone re-engineering technology could be used to rebuild the 139-year-old Trinity Church.

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Christchurch Earthquake 2011

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A Canterbury businessman has come to the rescue of the former Trinity Church designed by Christ Church Cathedral architect Benjamin Mountfort.

Richard Lloyd, who co-owns a lightweight stone cladding business, said stone re-engineering technology could be used to rebuild the 139-year-old church, on the corner of Manchester and Worcester Sts, and make it 100 per cent earthquake compliant.

The same technology could potentially be used to save Christ Church Cathedral.

"It might give other building owners such as the Anglican Church pause for thought."

Stone pavers used for the walls could be cut down and glued to a cement board, making the whole building 70 per cent lighter.

He said he was committed to retaining the exact heritage features of the building.

Lloyd had the full support of owner Alan Slade, who said he had run out of funds to repair the building after the February 22 earthquake and had reluctantly applied to demolish it.

Slade said he would contribute the land and building worth more than $1 million to the restoration project in return for retaining a continuing stake in the building.

Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority staff had delayed issuing the Section 38 notice while they worked with city council heritage unit staff to find a way to save it. They contacted Lloyd to see if he was interested.

"They said here is a good potential case for re- engineered stone," Lloyd said.

A syndicate or trust would be formed and funding would come from public and private sources, he said.

Funding for initial geotechnical investigations had come from Lloyd and the city council heritage unit.

Trinity Church was built in 1873-4 and, like the cathedral, had rose windows, a stone exterior and tower.

Bought by Slade in 1993 and converted into a restaurant and music venue, The Octagon, the building was extensively damaged in the February earthquake last year and was red-stickered.

Slade spent $500,000 on repairs after the September 4 and Boxing Day quakes of 2010, but after the February quake last year he had "thrown in the towel".

He was thrilled the building would be saved after all.

"There will be all these modern buildings and it will stand out like a jewel," he said. 

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