Shand's and Trinity church restoration creates 'landmark corner'
After more than two years of painstaking restoration work, the oldest wooden commercial building in Christchurch is fast approaching completion.
The 157-year-old Shand's Emporium building, now known simply as Shand's, has survived the earthquakes, years of "demolition through neglect" and being lifted by a crane, not once but twice.
But by Christmas, it will be restored to its former glory.
The listed heritage building was relocated from its original site at 88 Hereford St to the corner of Manchester and Worcester streets in 2015 after it was bought by the Christchurch Heritage Trust for $1.
"I would describe it as a minor miracle it was still in one piece when we got it here – structurally, it was severely compromised," said Richard Lloyd, the restoration project manager.
"We've retained all the original material, which is mostly kauri, a bit of rimu, some matai. There's been a real mix used over the years," he said.
"We're about 95 per cent complete."
When it arrived on site, Shand's was stripped bare so the walls and floor could be repaired, and any alterations that detracted from the original character of the building were removed.
A two-storey annex featuring a commercial kitchen, toilets and office space was constructed connecting it with the adjoining Trinity Congregational Church, also owned by the trust, which dated back to 1875.
"What we've created here is a landmark corner. We've got the oldest stone church in central Christchurch and we've got the oldest commercial wooden building in the city." said trust chairwoman Dr Anna Crighton.
However, she stressed both buildings maintained their own integrity. They were separated by a covered glass walkway, connecting to the annex.
The trust had budgeted $6 million for the entire project, and had spent around $600,000 restoring Shand's, Crighton said.
There had already been interest in buying the entire complex, just Shand's and just Trinity, however Crighton said the trust was considering all options including leasing the buildings.
"If we do sell it, we'll sell it with a heritage covenant which protects it in perpetuity," she said.
The restoration of Trinity Church, which before the earthquakes was the home of the restaurant and live music venue Octagon Live, had been delayed by road works on Manchester St and wet weather during spring.
Crighton said it was originally expected to be completed by mid-December, but because of the delays it would not be ready until the first quarter of next year.
The tower on the northeast side of the church, designed by renowned architect Benjamin Mountfort, collapsed in the earthquake, as did stonework around some of the rose windows.
- The Press