The Christchurch Town Hall- C.C.C. Vote To Retain Only Auditorium If Feasible

Text of letter published in  The Press provides a succinct summary.


Christchurch Town Hall

The decision by Christchurch City Councillors to retain only the auditorium of the Christchurch Town Hall (if feasible) and replace the entrance and foyer space with a new structure is surprising since the draft Annual Plan listed full restoration as the preferred option at a cost of only $10 million in excess of insurance cover.  Reports in The Press on the submission process indicated that this option had overwhelming public support.

The site selection, national architectural competition, design selection and construction, on time and under budget, of the Town Hall must rank as one of the most successful civic projects in New Zealand’s history.  The building itself is recognised as one of our nation’s most significant architectural projects and was the envy of other city’s, so much so that Wellington commissioned its own version, the Michael Fowler Centre.  How can our present-day councillors be so unmindful of the achievements of their predecessors of the 1960s and 1970s that they are ready to destroy the architectural integrity of the city’s one remaining civic icon?  Do citizens need to fight yet another exhausting campaign to secure the future of a cherished city asset and prevent ill-considered destruction.  Councillors should take note that the acronym derived from “Restore Our Town Hall” is pronounced “wrath”.

Yours faithfully



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