Demo company to restore Christchurch heritage site
A demolition company's stepped in to save of one of Christchurch’s prized but quake-damaged heritage buildings with a project that'll cost around $25 million.
The company plans to restore the old teachers' college in central Christchurch, known as the Peterborough Centre, and to eventually sell apartments in the building.
It’s something positive in a city used to bad news, and central Christchurch has already lost almost half it heritage buildings.
The former teachers’ college was built in the 1920s in the Gothic revival style, a theme amongst the city's old buildings.
Earthquake Heritage Building Trust chair Anna Crighton says saving it is hugely important.
“When I first heard the news it was just unbelievable happiness, to have a big save like this, this is huge,” she says.
Coming to the rescue is an international company called Ceres, which specialises in disaster relief, demolition and construction.
Ceres was one of the contractors involved in the implosion of The Radio Network building in central Christchurch in August.
Bernie De Vere of Ceres New Zealand says they’re more used to taking buildings down than keeping them up.
“We come from a background of knocking down buildings on a weekly basis, we feel saddened by the destruction we see around us. This is a bit of a social payback and we're excited about it,” he says.
Ceres have bought the building and will bring it up to 100 percent of earthquake code, repairing the damaged apartments inside.
The building was used as a teacher's college for 50 years, and was later converted to apartments in the 1990s.
It’s just a block away from the site where Cranmer Courts stood – that building was controversially demolished two months ago. The demolition shocked the city's heritage lovers.
Then last month another historic building earmarked for restoration was destroyed in an arson attack.
But now, at last, the city's heritage lovers have something to smile about.