Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Cranmer Courts' Close Call

One of Christchurch's most iconic remaining pieces of heritage will be saved.
Cranmer Courts' unit owners have voted unanimously to accept an offer from across the Tasman to purchase the entire site - which includes saving the historic facade. This means the demolition, which had already started, has been halted at the eleventh hour!
The proposal to buy the property (including the nine occupied town houses), came from Risk Worldwide, an international disaster insurance recovery firm based in Australia. The offer is for $7m, on top of the $19m already secured through insurance.
The heritage-listed building on the corner of Kilmore and Montreal streets was built between 1873-1876. Many education buildings were constructed in Christchurch in the C19th., the majority built in the Gothic Revival style. The preference for this style reflects the early settlers' intention to recreate traditional English colleges. Cranmer Courts (on the NE corner of Cranmer Square) was the former Normal School.
It's registered with the NZ Historic Places Trust as a Category II Historic Place. Following the Sept 2010 mag.7.1 earthquake, the building was classified unsafe for habitation. After the Feb.2011 EQ, residents spent $1m stabilising it. Its demolition would have been an irreplaceable loss for the entire city.
Talk about putting your money where your mouth is! Thank you, Risk Worldwide, so very much!

PS: 05 Oct.2012 - Oh no, I spoke too soon...Cranmer Cts becomes another casualty of bureaucracy.

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