It was one of the oldest wooden commercial buildings left in the CBD, and now a simple gold coin has saved it.
Christchurch Heritage has paid property developer Antony Gough just a dollar for the Shand's Emporium building. It is typical of buildings from the early colonisation years and has a Heritage NZ Cat.1 listing.
Gough, whose family has owned the building for more than 75 years, said they could easily have pulled it down but were determined to save it.
The building, which Gough spent $70,000 weather-proofing and straightening post-EQs, will move to Manchester St.in 2-3 weeks, where it'll sit alongside the old Trinity Church, being restored by Christchurch Heritage.
The late-night shift will be fairly straight-forward, apart from the Colombo/High/Hereford Sts.intersection, where there were live tram lines. A 200-tonne crane will lift the building off the transporter and over the tram lines (as the temporary dismantling of the lines would be too costly and time-consuming).
Once at its new site, the building will be put on new foundations and
It's the second time Shand's has dodged the axe. In the late 1970s, NZ Post Office planned a new telephone exchange right on top of it. After several thousand signed a petition, the building was saved.
But a big question niggling away at me is: what happened to the Elvis Costello album cover, that sat so iconically in Shand's front window for years?
Has Elvis left the building?
UPDATE: 28 June 2015 - Shands touches down in its new home.