Cantabrians have had two weekends in which they can walk into The Square for a final look at The Cathedral.
A decision has been made to deconstruct the iconic building to a level of 2-3 metres, while discussions continue on a replacement building. The Anglican Church cannot afford the $100 million (on top of the insurance payout) to restore the 131 year old building. Deconstruction is likely to be completed by the end of 2012. The Bishop says it will be “deconstructed with care and respect, protecting the treasures within its walls”. A decision about whether a replacement is built on the same site may take some time, and depends on the results of tests into the stability of the ground underneath.
These photos were taken on Saturday 17 March 2012.
The Millenium Hotel, in Cathedral Square, is one of the few high-rise buildings that will remain. The cherry-picker is removing materials from the BNZ building, in preparation for the commencement of demolition in the next few days.
All of the large buildings surrounding and adjacent to The Square remain unoccupied, and nearly all of them are destined to be demolished, including Forsyth Barr and Price Waterhouse. A year after the February earthquake that devastated central Christchurch, just a small number of the high-rise buildings have been demolished, and there is still a long way to go until reconstruction.
The walkway starts in the Cashel Mall, so while there we checked out how the Re-Start the Heart project is going. Shipping containers were converted into temporary shops in the Mall, replacing demolished buildings, to attract visitors and shoppers into the central city.
There are more photos of the Restart The Heart Project shipping container shops here.
Photos of the walkway and The Cathedral in November 2011 are here.
Photos of The Cathedral in 2005 are here.