"The careful restoration has included deconstructing each of the tower legs and the construction of a new internal reinforced concrete structure to strengthen them. The existing foundations were strengthened. The original stone was cut and used as a veneer in the same place it used to be on the clocktower. The clocktower’s spire was straightened, strengthened and reinstated."
The Media Release is as follows:
Jubilee Clock Tower restoration celebrated
22 October 2014
Mayor Lianne Dalziel today officially unveiled the newly-restored Central City landmark, Jubilee Clock Tower, and placed a time capsule on the site for future generations to discover.
Christchurch City Council began restoration work on the historic clock tower, corner of Montreal and Victoria Streets, in March last year after it was significantly damaged in the February 2011 earthquake.
The careful restoration has included deconstructing each of the tower legs and the construction of a new internal reinforced concrete structure to strengthen them. The existing foundations were strengthened. The original stone was cut and used as a veneer in the same place it used to be on the clocktower. The clocktower’s spire was straightened, strengthened and reinstated.
Work was also undertaken to divert the artesian well that was found under the clocktower away from Montreal Street. The original clock mechanism was also carefully serviced while restoration of the clocktower was underway.
Mayor Lianne Dalziel says she is delighted the treasured clock tower has been restored to its former glory.
“Victoria Street has been a real beacon of hope for the Central City, with the revitalisation of the street moving quickly ahead as the clock tower was being carefully restored. It’s wonderful to see the clock tower welcoming visitors to the thriving Victoria Street Precinct once more.
“With the loss of so many of our city’s heritage buildings, it’s even more special to see this beautiful heritage landmark so meticulously restored she says.
At today’s event Mayor Dalziel, along with school children Matty Barr and Isabella Leighs, buried a time capsule to be opened in 100 years’ time. The time capsule project came about as the result of Prince Charles and Camilla, the Duchess of Cornwall’s, visit to Christchurch in 2012 to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s 60th Jubilee.
Although the clock tower was not under repair at the time, the Royal couple visited the site, presented a letter for inclusion in a time capsule and inspected some of the items that would be placed into a capsule. The time capsule buried today includes a number of other items, including old newspapers that were in the original time capsule found on site during the restoration work; letters from school children Matty Barr, Isabella and Alexander Leighs; information about the Canterbury Earthquakes and the clock tower’s restoration and historical images.
Jubilee Clock Tower was constructed in 1859 and arrived in Christchurch from England in 1860 in 142 packages.
In 1897, it was erected at the High, Lichfield and Manchester Streets intersection to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Queen Victoria’s reign. It remained there until 1930 when it was moved to its current location, becoming the Central City landmark it is today.
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