Tag: Christchurch Town Hall

“The Town Hall story – a Christchurch dream renewed” (University Canterbury Press Media Release)

Christchurch’s proud tradition of public architecture is clear in one of the city’s favourite buildings – the Christchurch Town Hall. The city’s ‘public living room’ for hosting celebrations, concerts and civic events, the Town Hall reopened triumphantly this year after a successful campaign for its restoration.

Through the tortuous beginnings of the original project to the battle to save the complex after the earthquakes of 2010-11, a new book, published by Canterbury University Press, captures an intimate story of the Town Hall. It is fitting that former Associate Professor of Art History at UC Dr Ian Lochhead edited The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, since he was an early advocate of repairing and restoring the building, expressing his views in a piece titled ‘Let our public living room live again’ published in The Press on 20 March 2012.

When the facility opened to much fanfare and civic interest in 1972, the auditorium in particular was unlike anything seen in New Zealand before, Dr Lochhead explains. While Sir Miles Warren led the creative architectural team (establishing the reputation of Warren & Mahoney nationally), it was Sir Harold Marshall who was responsible for the world-class acoustics that changed the way concert halls around the world were designed from that point on.

The quality of Marshall’s acoustic design attracted performers of the calibre of Leonard Bernstein, Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Carlos Santana and, just last month, renowned cellist YoYo Ma, and saw Christchurch recognised alongside the great concert halls of Vienna, Boston and Lucerne. The Philharmonie de Paris, which opened in 2015, took its design cues from the Christchurch Town Hall, to the extent that the French employed Marshall Day Acoustics, the practice established by Harold Marshall in 1981.  

Details such as this makes the book a treat for history lovers, architecture buffs and conservation advocates alike. The compelling story of the incredibly challenging restoration is recounted in chapters by Peter Marshall and John Hare and captured in photos by former UC photographer Duncan Shaw-Brown and by Olivia Spencer-Bower.   

UC returned to the Town Hall for its graduation ceremonies this year, one of many key Christchurch organisations to again use this much-loved space for their most important celebrations.

The Christchurch Town Hall 1965–2019: A dream renewed, edited by Dr Ian Lochhead, is available now in hardback edition (248pp, colour and B/W illustrations), RRP $59.99, ISBN: 978-1-98-850310-3.

Further information:

Ian Lochhead, Art History, photographed in his office, 19.2.14

Editor Ian Lochhead taught Art History at the University of Canterbury from 1981 to 2014. He has written extensively on the history of New Zealand architecture from the colonial period to the Christchurch School. His book, A Dream of Spires: Benjamin Mountfort and the Gothic Revival, was published by CUP in 1999. He was an early advocate for the restoration of the Christchurch Town Hall following the 2011 Canterbury earthquakes; his article ‘Let our public living room live again’, was published in The Press on 20 March 2012. The Society of Architectural Historians of Australia and New Zealand made him a life member in 2013.

Dr Lochhead Image: Duncan Shaw Brown

Contributors

John Hare

Sir Harold Marshall

Peter Marshall

Martin Setchell

Sir Miles Warren

Photographers

Duncan Shaw-Brown

Olivia Spencer-Bower

Historic Places Canterbury C.C.C. Public Forum Presentation- The Town Hall (And The Arches)

The following is the text of the Public Forum Presentation given by the Chair of HPC to the Christchurch City Council.

CCC Public Forum Presentation: Christchurch Town Hall (and the Arches)

28thFeb  2019

Deputy Mayor and Councillors

Thank You for allowing Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) to make this Public Forum Presentation.

HPC wishes to offer our congratulations and express our appreciation to the Councillors, past and present, the Council Staff, Engineers, Acoustic Engineers Architects and related Building Professionals, Hawkins and the Sub Contractors for their efforts in the successful restoration and enhancement of the Christchurch Town Hall. Our Town Hall!

HPC wishes to acknowledge the efforts of Sir Miles Warren, Maurice Mahoney Dr Ian Lochhead, Dr Jessica Halliday, and the many individuals and groups who made Deputations,  wrote letters to remind us why the Town Hall’s restoration is important to our city. The Town Hall is special and we await for Dr Ian Lochhead to inform us how special it really is when his book is released.

HPC wishes to draw the attention of the Councillors to the CCC Staff (and Hawkins) whose actions will be not be widely known but for whom HPC is appreciative. From Senior Managers down there was a concerted effort to ensure the Heritage Advocates were briefed on the work as it progressed and gave explanations on  how the buildings heritage features and interior objects would be retained and restored. As Chair of HPC I have been on three tours to view the progress of the work. On numerous occasions CCC Managers have introduced themselves to me. They have been informative, discrete, inclusive and attentive to the details- the CCC at its best.

HPC would like to draw the Councillors attention and commend another CCC Staff initiative. The asphalting of the Arches and Landscaping of their surroundings.

We now have a weatherproof path connecting the CBD and Victoria Street via the Arches and Victoria Square. CERA proposed a permanent pathway in their Victoria Square Restoration Consultation. For reasons unknown nothing eventuated until the Council Staff took the initiative. The CCC Staff organised the asphalting and landscaping. It is a great outcome that Councillors I am sure you will agree with

HPC asks that while we celebrate the Town Hall opening we should continue bragging about our Heritage in our Civic Discourse. We have much to be proud of: The Christchurch Town Hall, the Isaac Theatre Royal, the Arts Cente, Provincial Council Buildings,   we are the home of the Hamilton jet, Rutherford's University, Kate Shepherd and the campaigners for the votes for women, the Brazier Brothers responsible for the first commercial top dressing drop, McDougal's gift of an Art Gallery, Thomas Edmunds expression of gratitude by gifting us the Poplars, Band Rotunda and Clock Tower , Ell's vision of the Port Hills that is still as relevant today and the Great Christchurch Public Debates to name a few. It is a heritage we should be celebrating in our everyday conversation and public discourse

Finally to close HPC notes the individual moments are as important as the great civic events, the Town Hall joins the Isaac Theatre Royal the Great Hall of the Arts Centre and our heritage buildings where the individual magic is recreated. At every citizenship ceremony , Christchurch School of Music Concert, University Graduation the Town Hall will recreate the individual magic again and again and again.

Thank You Councillors.

Mark Gerrard
Chair Historic Places Canterbury

The Restored Christchurch Town Hall Open Days- (This) Saturday 23 and Sunday 24th February: Noon to 6pm.

The doors to the restored Christchurch Town Hall will be thrown open to the public on Saturday 23 and Sunday 24 February.

Take a self-guided tour, enjoy the entertainment and see how we’ve restored this significant venue for the city.

On show will be the Douglas Lilburn Auditorium, the foyer, the Avon Room, the Victoria and Limes Rooms.  James Hay Theatre is still a work in progress but you’ll get a sneak peek of the space.

Mayor of Christchurch, Lianne Dalziel, will open the doors to the public at noon on Saturday 23 February.
Details at the following links:
https://ccc.govt.nz/news-and-events/whats-on/show/2346

https://www.ccc.govt.nz/the-council/future-projects/major-facilities/townhall/

Christchurch Town Hall Restoration: CCC Meeting Video Download Links

ChCh-Town-Hall-interior

Christchurch Town Hall Interior (Pre Quake)

The Christchurch City Council Meeting Deputations Staff Report, Debate and Vote can be viewed at the following links:
Part 1:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5iwsUiu4tK0
Part 2: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=a1CtTscBMGU
Part 3: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iRcrO9LhxRA
Part 4: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ywIFny0G-mM

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“Town Hall restoration to begin” C.C.C. Media Release (1th June 2015)

Print"Following today's decision, a contractor will be appointed to carry out the work. Restoration work is expected to begin this month and to be completed in June 2018."
The Media Release is as follows:

Thursday 11 June 2015

Christchurch City Council has today (Thursday 11 June) agreed to fully restore the Town Hall.

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“Work could start soon on restoring the Christchurch Town Hall” The Press Online Article (8th June 2015)

Work could start soon on restoring the Christchurch Town Hall
"Work to fully restore Christchurch's Town Hall could begin this month after an independent business case backed a $127.5 million repair. ..."
http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/business/the-rebuild/69167736/work-could-start-soon-on-restoring-the-christchurch-town-hall