Tag: Christchurch Civic Trust

 CHRISTCHURCH CIVIC TRUST AND HISTORIC PLACES CANTERBURY DEPUTATION TO THE CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL OPPOSING THE RSA REQUEST FOR THE SHIFTING OF THE CITIZENS’ WAR MEMORIAL FROM CATHEDRAL SQUARE 27.09.18 Ross Gray, Deputy Chair CCT, HPC 

 CHRISTCHURCH CIVIC TRUST AND HISTORIC PLACES CANTERBURY DEPUTATION TO THE CHRISTCHURCH CITY COUNCIL OPPOSING THE RSA REQUEST FOR THE SHIFTING OF THE CITIZENS’ WAR MEMORIAL FROM CATHEDRAL SQUARE 27.09.18 Ross Gray, Deputy Chair CCT, HPC 

The Citizens’ War Memorial monument is a vital and integral component of the city’s most important public space, Cathedral Square, and it is essential that it remains so in the post-disaster years. Its structural and visual form creates a carefully orchestrated synergy with the structure, form and symbolism of Christchurch Cathedral. 

It needs the cathedral and the cathedral needs it, because of a shared meaning embodied in the crucifix form of both structures. We can see this in the Latin cross floor plan of the cathedral and in the 15m high structural cross of the War Memorial. This is no accident or coincidence: the Anglican Church gave explicit instructions on these design matters and sculptor William Trethewey and architect George Hart fully and faithfully executed them. In doing so they created what eminent New Zealand historian Jock Phillips says is possibly ‘…the finest public monument in the country'. To separate the two structures would be to considerably diminish both heritage structures. 

Re-stated: for more than half its life Christchurch Cathedral has been the core of a shared civic experience of great profundity with its nearest neighbour, the Citizens’ War Memorial. The Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury cannot see any valid reason to sever this physical and deeply symbolic bond. 

The Christchurch City Council through its ratepayers has recently agreed to contribute a generous $10m to the reinstatement of Christchurch Cathedral, with some stated restrictions. This follows a long history of the council making a significant contribution to the cathedral, including re-roofing and earthquake strengthening. Furthermore, the current concept plan by Regenerate Christchurch for the future of Cathedral Square shows the Citizens’ War Memorial in its present position. Planners have clearly not considered its presence a problem: rather they see it as part of the mix of features contributing towards a vibrant civic centre. The council has agreed to contribute half the initial costs for the redevelopment of Cathedral Square and must do all it can to strengthen the “Square experience”. The objection, that the cathedral is some years away from re-occupation, may be true, but in the interim, the south facing areas of the new City Library offer quiet spaces with views out to the War Memorial. 

In light of these factors it would be highly counter-productive for the council to accede to the RSA’s request to move the Memorial away from Cathedral Square to another city location. 

The RSA submission takes little account of the War Memorial’s function to be a reminder and a memorial of war and sacrifice for everyone, certainly not just for the comrades, family members or descendants of Association members. For instance: thousands of German and Japanese tourists come to Christchurch annually. Those tourists, descendants of some who will have fought against New Zealanders, are most unlikely to make a special trip to another open space to visit the Citizens’ War Memorial relocated there. In fact, because Christchurch Cathedral is so close to the War Memorial, visitors to it are provided with a magnificent, enclosed space whose prime purpose is to give people of any and all persuasions a place in which to reflect. 

The Citizens’ War Memorial, when viewed from east of The Square, presents a relatively plain rear façade. This is not a significant problem given the extent of the surrounding built environment, but if it were to be shifted to another open city space, this would present a serious visual difficulty given the possibly long vistas from any direction. The Memorial is absolutely a site-specific monument and as such is totally unsuitable for shifting away from its designated site. The Christchurch Civic Trust has a particular concern for urban planning matters and is alarmed at the ramifications for inner city neighbourhood living that any shift would raise: siting, orientation, impact on living values and the like.  

It appears to have been all too easy for the RSA to claim some sort of ownership of the Citizens’ War Memorial. It commemorates the ultimate sacrifice made by men and women from Canterbury, but those who remember are in fact all people – from greater Christchurch, Canterbury, New Zealand, the globe. The memorial is owned by the citizens of Christchurch and is administered and cared for by the funds from those ratepayers. The RSA’s line of thinking, that the War Memorial must be shifted at its request, may well be borne of years of post-earthquakes frustration, but it carries an ill-founded proprietorial attitude and fails to take into account all relevant heritage and urban planning factors. 

I’d like to conclude with a brief comment from Professor Chris Kissling, Chair Christchurch Civic Trust: “The submission certainly represents my personal view regarding the war memorial staying where it is. I do not believe the restoration work on the Cathedral requires the shift of the war memorial and I have not seen any cogent arguments for such an undertaking. 

The Citizens’ War Memorial is not a chess piece to be moved from square to square at the whim of current players who have decision-making power.” 

The Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury both urge Mayor and Councillors to reject the request by the RSA for the removal of the Citizens’ War Memorial from the heart of the city, Cathedral Square. 

“Square Campaign Thanks”- Letter Published In The Press Perspectives (090318)

The following is the text of a letter published in The Press. The letter was sent by HPC Chair Mark Gerrard in his role as Convenor of  “Victoria Square - No Need For Change"  campaign committee.

" The re-opening of a restored Victoria Square will be celebrated by the many Christchurch Residents who supported the successful “Victoria Square- No Need For Change” campaign.

I am writing this letter to publicly “Thank” the many concerned residents who wrote letters to the Press, rang ZB Talkback, emailed their MPs, turned up for the Yellow Ribbon Picnic and attended the Knox Church Forum. I wish to acknowledge the “No Need For Change” committee, the volunteers, the residents who encouraged us, the Knox Forum panellists and Chris Lynch, and Historic Places Canterbury and The Christchurch Civic Trust who funded the campaign.

Whilst we celebrate the re-opening, we must all acknowledge the skill and thoughtfulness of the original Designers who, 30 odd years ago, created this very special space we know and love as Victoria Square.

Victoria Square is “Christchurch at its best” and it sets the standard for which the quality and success of the CBD rebuild will be judged.

The re-opening will be a momentus event. However, for most of us Victoria Square is about the quiet enjoyment of reclining under a tree, sitting on a park bench and stopping at night to enjoy the Bowker Fountain water display and the light show.

Mark Gerrard

Convenor “Victoria Square - No Need For Change”

Harley Chambers / Worcester Chambers: The Resource Consent Application

Owners of historic Christchurch building seek demolition consent for hotel project  The Press Online;
https://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/103018473/owners-of-historic-christchurch-building-seek-demolition-consent-for-hotel-project

Historic Places Canterbury Deputy Chair Ross Gary quoted in the following Press Online articles:

Hotel developer battles to demolish "decaying, doomed, eyesore" heritage building  The Press Online.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/105336927/hotel-developer-battles-to-demolish-decaying-doomed-eyesore-heritage-building

"Objector Ross Gray, acting chair of the Civic Trust and deputy chair of Historic Places Canterbury, said the buildings concerned were at the heart of an extremely sensitive heritage precinct and any further loss of heritage buildings in the area was unthinkable."

Earthquake Act could help demolish Christchurch heritage buildings on luxury hotel site.The Press Online.
https://www.stuff.co.nz/business/105536288/earthquake-act-could-help-demolish-christchurch-heritage-buildings-to-allow-luxury-hotel

"Ross Gray, acting chair of the Civic Trust and deputy chair of Historic Places Canterbury, said he would be appalled if the GCRA was applied in this case.

About 250 Christchurch heritage buildings have been lost as a result of the earthquakes, those remaining deserved protection, Gray said, and he was surprised Heritage New Zealand had not opposed demolition of the two chambers. ..."

 

“HERITAGE RESTORATION – ON THE MOVE!” Bus Tour: Sunday 15th October 2017 ( As Part Of BECA Heritage Week 2017)

Heritage restoration is really ON THE MOVE! in Christchurch -
Brought to you by Historic Places Canterbury and the Christchurch Civic Trust. 

HERITAGE RESTORATION Correct time FLIER FINAL (Free)  [PDF to download]

Join the London double-decker free bus tour and get the full story from enthusiastic building owners and heritage advocates.

Leaving from the CWEA 59 Gloucester St at …

10.00 am Tour 1 Caffe Roma & the Public Trust building, then Shands and Trinity buildings followed by free sandwich lunch and heritage display/discussion back at WEA.

1.15 pm Tour 2 Wood’s Mill and then St Barnabas church followed by afternoon tea and heritage display/discussion back at WEA.

Interesting and surprising pauses to look at heritage sites on the way Mini award-winning Shop 7 heritage display at base for the day WEA – including heritage demolition roll, Civic Trust book “City and Peninsula” available for purchase.

Free sandwich lunch for Tour 1; afternoon tea following Tour 2 You are welcome to book for both tours. Spend the day with us!

BOOKING ESSENTIAL! phone: 021 206 3620 or email: secretary@christchurchcivictrust.org.nz

Proudly presented by Christchurch Civic Trust and Historic Places Canterbury as part of BECA Heritage Week 2017

 

“Final Victoria Square plan considered” The Press (Online Article)

"Final Victoria Square plan considered" The Press:

"Christchurch City Council is being asked to approve a revised Government plan to restore Victoria Square.

The latest plan sees the layout of Victoria Square remaining largely unchanged and proposes repairs and restoration of existing features. ..."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/news/72230970/final-victoria-square-plan-considered

“Release of the Victoria Square Draft Restoration Plan” Victoria Square No Need For Change Media Release

“ We are pleased the Minister and CCDU have finally acknowledged that Victoria Square belongs to the Residents of Christchurch. CCDU have finally listened to the Christchurch Residents who have attended meetings, written letters, set Talkback alive and in endless private conversations have repeatedly stated Victoria Square No Need For Change.”
The Media Release  is as follows:
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Historic Places Canterbury : “Deputation to the Christchurch City Council Communities Housing and Economic Development Committee. 7th May 2015”

historic_places_cant_purple_logoThe Deputation included supplementary material of images taken from a Donovan Rypkema Workshop as well as copies of the:
“Older, Smaller, Better : Measuring how the character of buildings and blocks influences urban vitality” Study.
The following is the text of the Deputation.
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Victoria Square Public Forum: Tuesday 7.30 Pm Knox Church Centre 31st March 2015 (Media Release)

Residents of Christchurch are invited to attend a
Public Forum on Victoria Square to be held 7.30pm Tuesday 31st March  at Knox Church Centre.

The Promotional Flyer can be downloaded from this link: Flyer_Vic_Square_Yellow_Ribbon_Picnic_and_Public_Forum

The Media Release is as follows:
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“Heritage Connections On Worcester” : Heritage Week Guided Tours Organised By Historic Places Canterbury And The Christchurch Civic Trust

"The Heritage Connections On Worcester"  Guided Tours start  11pm at Shop 7 Cathedral Junction and will be approximately one hours duration.
The tours run from Monday 2oth October -Monday 27th October
"The walking guided tour will take you from the Christchurch Club to the Museum so wear comfortable shoes. "

A brochure is available from Shop 7 if you would like to Self Guide your very own personal tour!