Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Otahuna Lodge Earthquake Restoration


Following the Canterbury Earthquake of 4 September, a sweeping restoration program is underway at New Zealand’s largest private historic residence, Otahuna Lodge.

Owner Hall Cannon says that in the past five weeks some major accomplishments have been made in a project that is set to take several months. However, in order to ensure that all necessary works can be undertaken to restore the property to its previous condition the decision has been made to keep Otahuna closed until Monday, 10 January 2011.

The progress of works has been swift – it is the most advanced restoration of a heritage building in Canterbury and has the full support of local councils and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.

It involves rebuilding the property’s many chimneys, replacing damaged roof areas, correcting faults to the homestead’s plastered walls and ceilings and extensive seismic strengthening.

More than 4000 slate roof shingles — as close a match as possible to the originals — have already been installed. Sophisticated engineering and architectural solutions have been approved for the rebuild of all of the property’s damaged chimneys. Interior works are being undertaken by some of the nation’s most respected historic conservation specialists.

Mr Cannon says he is very pleased with the progress of works at the Lodge. “An earthquake of this scope and magnitude was an unprecedented event for Otahuna and New Zealand,” he says. “However, I have every confidence that we have assembled the best team in the business to help us restore the Lodge to its former condition and prepare for its soon re-opening.”

The Lodge team remains in place during the closure to help restore the property and prepare for future guests. "We are accepting forward bookings but in the interim we are working closely with our peer properties throughout New Zealand to re-accommodate our guests during this extraordinary situation," Cannon said.

Information will be regularly posted on www.facebook.com/otahuna and www.otahuna.co.nz. For further information contact Otahuna Lodge on +64 3 329 6333 or enquiries@otahuna.co.nz.

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