Interactive heritage centre on course for Easter

An Easter resurrection is planned for the former Dunedin North post office.

The 135-year-old building is being developed into an interactive Dunedin heritage centre, which will be run by the Otago Museum and New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

The $1.5 million redevelopment includes new exhibition and venue-hire space, a foyer, courtyard and toilets.

A new roof, thermal insulation, pipe work and wiring systems were also being installed, Otago Museum marketing and development co-ordinator Juliet Pierce said this week. The building has a category 2 heritage status and has been leased by the Dunedin City Council to the museum for 33 years.

The renovation was an ''exciting and challenging redevelopment'', Naylor Love project manager Peter MacNab said. ''There is no doubt that the completed project will breathe a new lease of life into one of Dunedin's iconic buildings.''

The work was expected to be completed by Easter, he said.

The building was destined for demolition in 1968 and was only saved by a campaign led by the then Otago Art Society president, the late Shona McFarlane.

The society moved into the building in 1972 and used it for the next 33 years, until it relocated to the Dunedin Railway Station in 2007.

The Otago Museum and New Zealand Historic Places Trust plan to open the renovated building with a collaborative exhibition titled: Heritage Lost and Found: Our Changing Cityscape.

- nigel.benson@odt.co.nz

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