Heritage Christchurch to Reopen

Posted by Travel News in Travel News
Wednesday, 20 February 2013
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Heritage Christchurch is to formally reopen on Monday the 13th of May. It has been a part of the Christchurch hospitality industry since its opening in 1996 in the site of the former Old Government Building (OGB).
The OGB, designed by Joseph Clarkson Maddison and opened in 1913, is registered as a Category One Building on the Historic Places Trust register.
The building was awarded the Christchurch Heritage Trust Built Heritage Award in 2010 and the New Zealand Seismic Award 2012 in the Canterbury Heritage awards.
The Old Government Building (OGB) which houses the hotel’s luxury suites and food and beverage facilities survived the February 22nd 2011 earthquake with relatively minor structural damage and no harm to guests and staff.
It has been behind the red zone cordon for the past two years, whilst careful planning and a loving restoration has taken place.
The Tower building’s unit owners recently voted to accept a settlement from the insurer and the Tower wing will no longer form part of the hotel operation.
The OGB houses spacious one and two bedroom suites, complete with separate lounge living from the bedroom and full kitchen and laundry facilities, making the hotel ideal for the business guest or leisure visitor to Canterbury. In addition, the hotel has a restaurant and café bar, health club, heated lap pool, jacuzzi and sauna on the premises.
“We are delighted to soon see our beloved hotel back in business and thrilled that this unique heritage building has withstood both the test of time and seismic events. We consider ourselves privileged custodians of Christchurch’s past and an important part of its tourism and commercial future,” says Gary Jarvis, general manager Heritage Christchurch.

Unlike many buildings around the Cathedral Square, the OGB building’s damage has been remarkably minimal. No major exterior damage occurred such as falling masonry and the building remained square and vertical on its foundations.
Inside there was only one pane of the historic stained glass windows cracked and in the hotel’s health club, the water was still in the swimming pool.
During the past two years, almost all the first year was in the planning and approval phase, with building work eventually started in December 2011.
Remedial work has been in the internal walls, partitions and ceiling cornices, with strengthening, re-plastering and a complete repaint required.
Part of the reason the building was so fortunate to survive with so little damage is largely due to the history and evolution of this important heritage building into a hotel. The building was extensively strengthened in 1995 and 1996 when it was converted to its current use as a hotel to comply with Council regulations.

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