Sunday, November 15, 2015

New Excelsior But Facade Goes

the old facade
Christchurch's old Excelsior Hotel is going to be rebuilt.
Unfortunately it'll be a modern building with a replica facade - not the old facade that's been propped up by shipping containers in the CBD for the past three years.
The 1880s hotel was wrecked in the earthquakes and only the western facade currently remains.
Property development company Canterbury Property Investments (CPI) is buying the site - it's going to smash down the original facade and rebuild the hotel.
Christchurch Heritage Trust, which bought the building to save it in 2011, says it's happy with both the buyers and the rebuild plan (originally it had hoped to dismantle the facade and reuse it in a new building, describing
Artist's impression of the new Excelsior Hotel
demolition as "unthinkable" when it purchased the property).
Trust vice chairman Stephen Collins says things had changed, and lightweight replicas were now a viable rebuild option: "Purists may say it's not heritage but the reality is, what we'll finish up with will look identical."
CPI has already built a St Asaph St restaurant in the style of the demolished Occidental Hotel, and a barbecue restaurant in the style of a historic San Francisco fire station. As well, it's planning two new hotels on the old Press site in Cathedral Square, one behind a replica of the old Press building.
This project will cost about $10 million.

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