Last-ditch effort to save historic building's facade
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
Heritage advocates are making a last-ditch public plea to save the Cranmer Courts facade as demolition work begins.
The heritage-listed Christchurch building has been red-stickered since the February 2011 earthquake, when it suffered severe structural damage.
Since then, residents have spent almost $1 million on stabilisation work.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) issued the Cranmer Courts body corporate a section 38 notice on April 19.
The notice was not an immediate demolition order but stipulated the building was considered dangerous.
Demolition work began yesterday.
Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund fundraising manager Kristina Pickford said it was a "tragedy" to see another historic building come down.
She hoped that about $6m could be raised to save the historic facade facing the corner of Kilmore and Montreal streets.
Cranmer Courts body co-operative chairman David Chambers said a potential buyer planned to turn it into a luxury hotel and keep the facade, but the deal did not go through as they could not meet Cera's timeline and the body corporate members did not all agree on the sale.
"So much work has gone into trying to make it work. It's just extraordinary that heritage values of the city are once again being totally disregarded as we try to build a new city," Chambers said.
He said unless the money was raised in the next 36 hours it was likely the whole building would be demolished. Pickford said demolition on the facade could start today.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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