How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD

So whats new in High Street?

  • Some concept pictures are available of the new Mckenzie & Willis site: link here: http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/74224313/new-peek-at-christchurch-heritage-project
    I look forward to seeing the finished buildings.  (Although I am living next door in a dust bowl as the dust blowing from the site is driving me insane, (there appears to be no “watering” of the area occurring).
  • The “CCC” has decided on the layout for the High/St Asaph/Madras Street intersection.  As is usual with any consultation that we under go in the city we were kept out of the loop and not given full and frank information prior to the consultation. I am damn sure that if my name was Carter, Ballantyne or Gough we would get more consideration.
    In this case we were not told that the tram terminus was to be located at the end of our street.  There was no indication in any of the plans that we were supplied with to comment on, that the tram would be pushed down this end of the street. Now that’s consultation!  With the most important information missing from the “consultation documents”.

Contrary to all the rules of retail, CCDU et al have decided to make access to High street much more restricted. The late architect Ian Athfield always said that one of the major needs for retailers was access and the ability for vehicles “to go around the block” if they were looking for a car park.  The idiots in power have now in their infinite wisdom taken this away from lower High Street.
This further restriction to traffic by locking off both the historic east link to Ferry Road and the west link to St Asaph Street, appears to be the beginning of a process to turn us into a pedestrian walk way.

This has been a council aim for the last 30 years. I again point out that turning New Regent St, another small Heritage Street, into a mall HAS NOT been a success.  How many times do you have to repeat the same mistake before you change tack?  (Note there are still 11 boarded up shops in New Regent Street and it is obvious to all that the retailers are struggling).

Below is an excerpt from the letter that I got from the CCC.

“High Street intersection and proposed tram route
Similarly, the proposed prevention of a right turn from High Street to St Asaph Street was criticised by four submitters. They stated that direct access to a one-way street is important for High Street businesses, otherwise customers would have to make a long detour.
The layout of High Street also attracted submissions from the Tramway Historical Society and Christchurch Tramway Ltd which noted that the proposals did not incorporate plans to extend the Stage 1B Route linking Lichfield Street, Poplar Lane and Tuam Street.
The project team commented that as a result of An Accessible City and the changes to the one- way street network, the tram route alignment had to be amended from the Council-approved Stage 1B route that included the turnaround on Tuam Street in front of C1 cafe. The simplest route for the tram to return along High Street from Poplar Street, is to bring the tram south along High Street (south of Tuam Street) with a north return along High Street crossing Tuam Street and joining the existing laid track just north of the C1 / Alice building. This change was approved as part of An Accessible City Phase 1 Tuam Street projects.
Following further investigations, prompted by submissions on the tram, the safest place to terminate the tram is in the new public space at the southern end of High Street similar to the arrangement at Strange’s Corner (intersection of High / Lichfield / Manchester), although the two tram lines will connect to provide a single lane tram track into the public space due to space requirements. As there will be pedestrian, cycle, tram and vehicle movements heading north on High Street, re-introducing the right turn, which has been requested through other submissions could lead to safety concerns as there is an additional conflict point being introduced. The recommendation, therefore, is not to re-introduce the right turn from High Street to St Asaph Street”.

  • The old Excelsior Hotel site has been sold, I look forward to the new “look alike”.  This is a great outcome for High Street, as it will keep the Heritage look and create a gate way for the rest of lower High Street.  This has been a difficult decision for the Christchurch Heritage Trust in allowing the demolition of this frontage to proceed.  They have made, in my view, a sensible, pragmatic choice. Link here:  http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/73751470/heritage-facade-on-old-excelsior-hotel-will-be-lost
  • We are waiting on the “floor guy” they will be here next week to fill the cracks and grind the floor.  The survey of the back toilet block area happens today.  ye ha some progress is in sight!
  • There is still no indications from CCDU about progress on the sale of the remaining 7 units of the Duncans Buildings.  How hard is it to progress this issue?  Do the basic strengthening of the frontages that you said you would do 3 years ago.
  • Ho Humm, still no progress on my “new house”.   Check your Insurance policy folks, it could be you being shafted by a state owned insurance company.  Coming up to the 6 year point now. The lack of protection for the rights of homeowners is appalling.

The sun is shining, it is 27 degrees, its got to be a good day.

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2 thoughts on “How not to repair a Heritage Building in the Christchurch CBD

  1. What would you cal;l the original decision by the Heritage Trust to pour money down the drain in attempting to retain the obviously doomed original Excelsior facade (now that it is still to be demolished)? Sensible?

    • I do not like facadism myself. I can not see the point. I think that the frontage could be replicated. It is probably cheaper in the long run. Was the original decision sensible? In my view no. I also will stick my neck out and say that retaining the McKenzie and Willis frontage was just as crazy. IMO!

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