Heritage fund contributes to renaissance

The former Loan and Mercantile building on the corner of Fryatt and Thomas Burns streets. Photo:...
The former Loan and Mercantile building on the corner of Fryatt and Thomas Burns streets. Photo: ODT files
Glenfalloch gardens on Portobello Rd. Photo: ODT files
Glenfalloch gardens on Portobello Rd. Photo: ODT files
The Gresham Hotel building on the corner of Rattray and Cumberland streets. Photo: ODT files
The Gresham Hotel building on the corner of Rattray and Cumberland streets. Photo: ODT files

David Benson-Pope gives his valedictory speech in Parliament yesterday. Photo from NZPA images.
David Benson-Pope gives his valedictory speech in Parliament yesterday. Photo from NZPA images.

Another collection of old Dunedin buildings is to get a council cash injection as the city continues its renaissance.

The 10 buildings received a combined $113,500 at this month's meeting of the Dunedin City Council's heritage fund committee.

The heritage fund was set up in the 1980s to encourage the protection and reuse of the city's older buildings. It meets twice a year, and has distributed $200,000 this year.

Committee chairman Cr David Benson-Pope said the fund offered ''a multitude of helps'' for heritage building owners, including rates relief, deferral of rating and the distribution of grants.

It had ''overwhelming'' support from the public, and Dunedin was ''becoming the heritage capital of the country''.

It was now common for overseas visitors to remark on the city's retention of heritage buildings, he said, while other New Zealand cities were envious of Dunedin's townscape.

''Other councils are already citing Dunedin as an example of best practice [for heritage protection]. This is one of our points of differentiation, it's one of the things that makes Dunedin so special.''

One building to receive a grant, the former Gresham Hotel at Queens Gardens, would be part of that visible retention of heritage when its renovation was completed.

The building received $20,000 in this month's round of grants to assist with its ''exterior restoration''.

''That's a key building in that [warehouse] precinct. It's the gateway to Vogel St and what's happening there.''

Council heritage policy planner Glen Hazelton said the list of buildings set to benefit from the fund demonstrated ''real positive momentum'' in the earthquake strengthening and reuse of Dunedin's heritage building stock.

''There are a few buildings on there that haven't been used for a decade or more, and that is hugely positive for the city.''

Especially encouraging was the trend for owners to go ''over and above'' what was needed for pure strengthening work, by also restoring facades and other heritage elements.

''This is such a step up from the past where people simply removed those elements and stripped the city of its beautiful architecture. These people are making the buildings safer and more attractive, transforming the city, which is something the fund is really proud to support.''

craig.borley@odt.co.nz

 


The grants

• Kelsey Yaralla Kindergarten, Trent Ave, North Dunedin: $5000 (earthquake strengthening).

• Golden Leaf International, 16 Manse St: $10,000 (earthquake strengthening).

• Empire Hotel, 395 Princes St: $5500 (earthquake strengthening report, prior to facade restoration).

• Gresham Hotel, 42 Queens Gardens: $20,000 (exterior restoration).

• Former stables, 218 Crawford St - $20,000 (reuse).

• Stafford House, 2 Stafford St - $5000 (fire upgrade).

• Loan and Mercantile Building, 33 Thomas Burns St - $20,000.00 (facade cleaning and restoration).

• Married quarters, Quarantine Island: $3000 (strengthening).

• Glenfalloch: $5000 (conservation plan update).

• Carpet Court, 115 Cumberland St: $20,000 (reuse)

TOTAL: $113,500


 

 

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