South Dunedin deserves heritage building help: Curran

"Part of the essential character of our city’’.
"Part of the essential character of our city’’.
South Dunedin’s "neglected" heritage buildings need the same TLC the rest of the city gets, retiring Dunedin South MP Clare Curran says.

The area’s heritage may be grittier and more industrial than the historic precincts and grand masonry buildings of central Dunedin, but she said it still deserved protecting and strengthening against future large earthquakes.

"The main street has got heritage value but it has been neglected. Some of those buildings aren’t that safe, but it would be a real shame for them to disappear.

"I do hope the city turns its attention to South Dunedin as being a place of value in the city and that needs some support to preserve it."

Dunedin City Council heritage adviser Dr Andrea Farminer said South Dunedin was definitely on the radar.

"We will be working to identify other buildings worthy of heritage status in the near future in order to further recognise, protect and celebrate the special heritage values of South Dunedin.

"There is also some interest in improving the King Edward St/Hillside Rd intersection through private investment and updating some buildings in the area. We are actively trying to encourage this interest by highlighting the Dunedin Heritage Funds’ potential to assist."

Ms Curran said she had ideas of what could be achieved along King Edward St and in the surrounding area, given what had been shown possible with the redevelopment of the likes of Vogel St.

"Thank you to those people who had the commitment and foresight to do what they’ve done there — it’s just incredible.

"There are landlords out here who are operating in a vacuum and I would love to see the city council see this part of the city as having a heritage value and for there to be some support whether that’s financial or co-ordinating a plan for earthquake strengthening of the sites along here so we don’t lose them. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.

"Part of the essential character of our city is where we came from industrially, and the blood, sweat and tears that helped build the city and the wealth of the city, part of that is out here."

Dr Farminer said the heritage fund had already provided money for several projects in South Dunedin, including for the Mayfair Theatre, for the repair and upgrade of the commercial heritage building on the corner of Hillside Rd and King Edward St, and for St Peter’s Church in Caversham.

The fund had supported seismic assessments and upgrades, building repairs and the preparation of a conservation plan, including in South Dunedin.

"The DCC also ran a programme of streetscape revitalisation across South Dunedin, focused on King Edward St, from 2010 to 2012, providing grants for facade repairs and painting to help residents and shop owners improve their buildings and the general commercial area," she said.

Protected heritage buildings had to go through the normal resource consent process but that was not a barrier to their redevelopment and repair.

Paul Gorman

Comments

There is nothing special about South D's buildings as someone who lives in the area. Most have cracked facades and I doubt any would meet new quake standards. I rather the private sector pulls down the dangerous ones and put up 2 or 3 stories mixed use retail/accomodation. There is no reason my rates have to go up to support such a process. Central Dunedin has much prettier buildings that deserve saving- but again with private money. The DCC's abilities are on display- just see the recent "Sammy's" purchase.

 

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