The Dunedin Railway Station is being loved to bits and its
''priceless'' stained glass windows will need to be removed
for extensive repairs.
The matching pair of windows on the first floor inside the
main station foyer are easily accessible to tourists and are
showing signs of many accidents over the past 100 years.
Otago Stained Glass master glass painter Peter Mackenzie said
he was recently asked by a glazing firm to study the
condition of the windows and repair two panes that had been
knocked out by visitors.
''Tourists actually fall into them, they do literally - they
fall over or they turn around and bang packs into them,'' Mr
The windows had received shoddy repairs in the past, leaving
mis-matched glass textures and colours and poor lead work, he
The weather had also damaged them, especially the windows on
the harbour side of the building, which were in urgent need
One of the windows was badly bowed and panes of glass were
cracked or missing.
The windows, which Mr Mackenzie considered to be
''priceless'', were probably made by London-trained Robert
Henry Fraser, the best of the stained glass window makers in
Dunedin at the beginning of last century.
The windows were completely exposed to visitors and the
weather and after they were fixed they would need to be
encased with armoured glass to protect them, Mr Mackenzie
In a report sent to the Dunedin City Council last week, he
said it would take two full months to fix each window and the
job would cost $36,400.
Removing the windows for restoration, reinstalling them and
protecting them with armoured glass would be an extra cost.
Council city property manager Robert Clark said his staff had
been made aware of the state of the windows about a week ago
and they would be fixed.
''It is one of our prime properties and it is a significant
heritage building and I would want it to be up to scratch so
we need to have a look at it.''
There was a set budget for property maintenance but the
railway station was very important to Dunedin and the council
and would get priority, he said.
''I can assure you that any of our heritage buildings, we
will make sure they are up to scratch because that is
something that I believe is very important for the city,'' Mr
Mr Mackenzie said Dunedin had the best collection of stained
glass windows in New Zealand because of the wealth that
existed in the city in the gold rush years.
He was concerned a lot of that work was being destroyed by
the weather and by poor-quality restoration.
''I don't want to knock glaziers but there is a lot more
subtlety in a stained glass window and your average punter
can't do it.''
He said up until the 1980s there were several master glass
painters available in Dunedin but most had now retired.