Images reveal Clarendon just before quake
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
The Clarendon Tower is a building of contrasts six months into its demolition.
While the top storeys are being taken apart piece by piece by the biggest cranes in Christchurch, the lower floors have remained largely untouched since the February 2011 earthquake.
The quake collapsed internal stairwells in the tower, forcing people to wait hours to be rescued.
Documents and personal items have been retrieved, but plates of food still sat on tables in the ground-floor cafe.
A docket showed the customers who ordered risotto and soup of the day seven minutes before the quake would not have received their meals, but would have been happy to have escaped with their lives.
Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority lead structural engineer Carl Devereux said the quake tore the floors from the concrete frame, leaving the floors at risk of collapse.
The demolition used the ''cut and crane'' method, where individual sections of floor, beams and columns were cut out.
''It's a really complex process, very labour-intensive and there are a lot of safety measures going into this type of deconstruction,'' he said.
The major work was expected to be completed by the end of the year, but the building was likely to remain a demolition site until February, he said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
Are you happy with progress towards recovery?Related story: September 4: Three year report card