Saturday, April 6, 2013

Chch Cathedral: The Options

Eeny meeny minny moe...
Three design options for a new Christ Church Cathedral were let loose on The Great Unwashed this week - rebuilding the original; building a traditional timber construction; or constructing a contemporary structure.
The Anglican Diocese and Church Property Trustees now want public feedback. And to persuade, keep you better informed, they say repairing/rebuilding the original is the most expensive option, taking 6-22yrs and costing $104-221 million.
Traditional building: 5-22yrs, $85-181m.
Contemporary structure: 4-9yrs, $56-74m.
Restore Christ Church Cathedral group spokesman Mark Belton says the important thing is that the church says the building CAN be saved. But he doubts its maths - saying other estimates cost out a rebuild at $90-$120m. He says people shouldn't balk at the cost, it's less than restoring the Arts Centre and Provincial Chambers, and less than the proposed central city stadium or convention centre. "Great buildings don't come cheap, particularly cathedrals." He also reckons it'll only take about 10yrs, not 22.
Bishop Victoria Matthews however favours a new contemporary cathedral.
Me? I'm for restoring the more viable Catholic Basilica for shared use (as if that sort of common sense would ever prevail...).
Two public forums will be held this month, with your views sought until early May. When I last checked, the NZHerald opinion poll was almost neck-and-neck between a rebuild and a contemporary structure. Suddenly we're all building experts! LOL

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