Thursday, May 28, 2015

Catholic Cathedral Construction Plans



It's been several speculative post-EQ years in the making...
But today, major plans for Christchurch's historic Catholic cathedral will be announced.
For those not familiar with the city, we're not talking the Anglican cathedral in the Square - this is the spectacular white Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament on Barbadoes Street.
Catholic leaders have decided to deconstruct the most quake-damaged parts of the cathedral but keep other sections. The deconstructed parts will then be rebuilt in stages but would not replicate the original cathedral.
The plan will cost about $14 million (including the deconstruction), compared to $120-$170m to restore the whole building. Previous estimates have put the cost of a modern cathedral at about $40m.
The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament is a Heritage NZ Cat.1 building, completed in 1905. It's considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance-style architecture in NZ and was innovative for its use of a concrete structure with Oamaru stone cladding.
The front facade of the cathedral partially collapsed in the Feb.2011 EQ. The back of the building has since been partially deconstructed, with removed masonry, copper detailing and windows stored off-site.
Heritage expert Ian Lochhead: "The building is the grandest of all the Roman Catholic cathedrals constructed in NZ in the 19th and early 20th centuries."
More details will be announced at a press conference at 11am today.

Update: The details, as released today...

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