Historic mansion to be bulldozed

MARC GREENHILL
Last updated 15:43 12/07/2013
McLean’s Mansion
Stacy Squires

HERITAGE: McLean’s Mansion was badly damaged in the earthquakes.

McLean’s Mansion
ABBIE NAPIER/Fairfax NZ
INTERIOR: McLean’s Mansion is filled with beautiful timber features.

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A century-old Christchurch mansion has been earmarked for demolition.

McLean's Mansion, a wooden homestead hidden away in the central city between Manchester and Colombo streets, was today confirmed as joining the city's heritage scrapheap.

The house, built in 1900 for wealthy Scottish immigrant Allan McLean, is listed as a category 1 heritage building by the Historic Places Trust.

It was set on hectares, had 53 rooms and was believed at the time to be the largest wooden residence built in New Zealand.

The building was used as classrooms before the earthquakes, but was in need of expensive repairs.

Christchurch heritage campaigner Ross Gray said the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority-issued section 38 (demolition) notice was a ''complete outrage''.

The building was not dangerous and more should have been done to save it, he said.

''Every step should have been taken to ensure that this breathtaking national treasure is saved.''

The recent restoration of Ironside House had shown that ''magnificent wooden buildings from the past can become a vibrant part of our future'', Gray said.

He urged residents to support its retention.

A Cera spokesman said it was satisfied the owners had ''exhausted all avenues'' for funding the ''substantial'' repair costs.

Heritage advocates had been consulted.

''We understand there has been some discussion about the feasibility of retaining some parts of the building for other uses,'' he said.

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