Old kiln fires restoration effort
Christchurch Earthquake 2011
The Canterbury earthquakes have revealed a historical building that will be restored to its former glory.
The brick-kiln building on the former Ward's Brewery site in Fitzgerald Ave dates back to 1881 and was saved at the last minute from demolition. It was previously hidden from view by former brewery buildings that have been demolished since the quakes.
The building will now be restored and converted to a martial arts and wrestling centre as part of the redevelopment of the Crichton Cobbers Youth and Community Club in Chester St East.
The restoration has been helped by $100,000 from the Canterbury Earthquake Heritage Buildings Fund, which has already granted about $10 million to help restore historical buildings.
Fund chairwoman Anna Crighton said the new building would be an unusual combination of heritage and sport.
"It was always hidden from view, so now we can enjoy it for the first time," she said. "The exciting thing about saving this particular building is not only will the money restore it, but it will have a new use as well."
The kiln was earmarked for demolition, but the property owners were persuaded to save it just days before it was due to come down.
Crichton Cobbers property trustee Jim Morrow said he was pleased the kiln would be retained.
"It's a fine example of brickwork and very intricate," he said.
"It fits in perfectly with our redevelopment plans. If we had demolished it, we would have had to build the same-size rooms in the new building."
Morrow has been involved with Crichton Cobbers since the late 1960s and said his role as property trustee had been much busier since the quakes.
Heritage trust fundraising manager Kristina Pickford said it was good to see the kiln had found a new use.
"It is hard to find a function for a windowless room," she said.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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