Jul 10, 2008

The Grim Reaper Awaits...


A pair of derelict, but historically significant, late Victorian semi-detached town houses at the south west corner of Christchurch's inner city Worcester and Barbadoes Streets.

The style is strongly reminiscent of the circa 1883-1892 houses situated along Steiner Street on Alamo Square in San Francisco. Also known as Postcard Row, it would be inconceivable that houses of such heritage significance would be considered demolishable in the city from where the style originates.

Photographed by Hayley Badock

7 comments:

Cheryl Bernstein said...

This is completely disgraceful! Thank you for pointing it out. The Christchurch City Council is clearly not doing enough (or in fact anything much from what I can see) to preserve its heritage. In Wellington's central city suburbs, you can't demolish anything built before 1930 without incurring a whole mess of trouble. And despite dire predictions from propery developers to the contrary, this regime has actually increased property values; people want to live in suburbs of architectural character like Mt Victoria or Kelburn. Is it too late to save this building, or can something still be done? I would be keen to do what I could, if your blog could point out the options.

Canterbury Heritage said...

Other than the owner of a building creating an heritage covenant, Christchurch, unlike our other major cities, offers no specific protection for buildings of historical significance.

Statistics from the Ministry for the Environment suggest Christchurch has the highest number consents which are not notified or have limited notification of any New Zealand city – just 113 limited and notified consents out of 5,241 applications in the last four years.

This allows substantial developments to proceed with little or any reference to the community. City Council officers say this is allowable under the current town plan and that this is in turn based around the Resource Management Act.

This policy allows the community little chance for input into developments that may end up in the destruction of heritage buildings.

An Heritage Advisor from the local branch of the NZ Historic Places Trust attempted to impose censorship on this web site for publishing the above information.

Not even the weight of public opinion is sufficient to impede the greed and neglect that are destroying this city's cultural heritage.

caleb said...

An Heritage Advisor from the local branch of the NZ Historic Places Trust attempted to impose censorship on this web site for publishing the above information.

You're joking! Totally ridiculous! Keep up the good work dude.

Canterbury Heritage said...

Sad to say that we're not joking: the "Heritage Advisor" put it in writing.

But that's the way things work in Christchurch...

Sarndra said...

Shame on them! It is obscene that heritage is treated with such a blasé attitude.

Regards

Unknown said...

As an Aucklander who has also seen many heritage buildings destroyed I am dismayed to learn that Christchurch has an even worse record. Attempted censorship of discussion by planners is an action worthy of a 3rd-world nation where corruption rules.
I see that 8 years has passed, has the earthquake finished what the planners wanted, or did they succeed in crashing these houses before the earthquake?

Canterbury Heritage said...

Societies, it has been said, rot from the head down, like dead fish.