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Heritage Grant for Riccarton House

Friday 14 March, 2014

Heritage Grant for Riccarton House

Structural strengthening and maintenance work on Riccarton House can be completed following the approval of a Christchurch City Council Heritage Grant of $33,263.

The Canterbury earthquakes caused substantial damage to the building including the loss to the 16 fireplaces, eight chimneys and the lathe and plaster. The building was insured for earthquake damage; the grant will cover some structural strengthening and maintenance work not covered by insurance.

Elements being repaired or rebuilt will achieve at least 67 per cent of the New Building Standards. This is up from as low as 10 percent prior to 2010.

Christchurch City Council Natural Environment and Heritage Manager Helen Beaumont says that the Council is delighted to make a donation towards a heritage building which has a special place in the heart of many Cantabrians and New Zealanders.

"Today, the building continues to be at the centre of many community gatherings and celebrations. This grant will contribute to the role of this building in contributing to our sense of identity and our living heritage.

"The grant will help preserve the future of a building which is recognised nationally for its connection to European settlement and farming on the Canterbury Plains, and for early interactions between Maori and Pakeha on the Deans estate."

Councillor Yani Johanson says the grant shows the real difference that the Heritage Incentive Grant can make to the community and the economy.

"It's great to be able to help the conservation and strengthening project at Riccarton House move forward. As a building, it is an icon of our city's remaining heritage. Whether you're visiting during the week or during the ever busy Farmer's Market, it is clear that this building is a special place to visit for locals and tourists, and it creates creative small business opportunities."

Riccarton Bush Trust Chairman Charles Deans says, "The Trust is delighted with the support from Council in addition to a wide range of support from other groups and family members."

He says the Trust expects Riccarton House to open later in 2014 to celebrate the 100th anniversary of the formation of the Trust in November 1914.

Payment of the grant is subject to the applicants entering a 10-year limited conservation covenant with the Council that the owner(s) will not demolish or apply for consent for demolition of the protected heritage item within a period of time to be negotiated with the building owner(s).

The building at 16 Kahu Road Street is listed Group 1 in the Christchurch City Plan and is registered Category 1 by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust Pouhere Taonga.

- ends -

Riccarton House - fact file:

* The large two storey timber frame building was constructed in three stages for the Deans family, initially from timber cut from Riccarton Bush in 1856. The 1900 extensions are very grand relative to the earlier portions and were built by the England brothers. They include the large ornate projecting gables and first floor verandah placed adjacent to the earlier very simple two storey gable ended block. The later additions contain the entrance hall, drawing room and first floor bedroom. The building has a Western Red Cedar shingle pitched roof and the exterior is clad with painted weatherboards.
* The building remained in the Deans family until 1947 when it was purchased by the 'Riccarton Bush Trust'. The building and surrounding grounds are open to the public.

The conservation and maintenance works include:
* Replacement of the original 1856 bay window structure
* Repairs to the decayed timber structure of the 1856 Study and Morning Rooms
* A new steel lintel in the 1856 Morning Room
* Foundation repairs to the 1856 Study Room
* Structural securing of brick chimney number five
* Repairs to the west wall of the kitchen

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