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Lyttelton Museum Acquires a Site for Its New Building

Lyttelton Museum Acquires a Site for Its New Building

Lyttelton Museum now has a site in the heart of the community on which to build a new museum. The Christchurch City Council today voted to gift the land at 33/35 London St to the Lyttelton Historical Museum Society (LHMS).

The Canterbury earthquakes in 2010/2011 destroyed the Society’s previous building, and over the last few years the group extensively researched 10 community sites in their quest for a new home. They came to the conclusion that ideally it would be right in the heart of the town.

“This is a great day for Lyttelton Museum,” says Peter Rough, Chair of the Museum’s Development Committee. “We very much want to be an active hub for the Lyttelton Harbour/Whakaraupō communities and now our plans for a new building can move forward. We intend to be a museum that shares and celebrates the stories of the wider community and want locals to have a sense of ownership. It will be great to have Lyttelton Library as our neighbour, and we also see the Museum as supporting the business community by attracting visitors to the town.

We currently have $600,000 for the project. Owning the land will enable us to raise more capital. We estimate that we will need to raise about another $5M for the construction and fit-out of the new museum.”

33/35 London St was home to the Council Service Centre but that building too was destroyed and now the Service Centre has been incorporated into the Lyttelton Library premises next door. LHMS identified the vacant site as being ideally placed for the Museum and put together a business case and proposal for the Community Board. They were very supportive and LHMS then took the proposal to Council. During the subsequent community consultation process, submissions indicated great support for the site to be gifted to the Museum.

The Christchurch firm of architects Warren & Mahoney has been chosen by the Society to work with it on its new museum building. Among the team that will be working on the project is architect Fiona Short, who says “A new museum has the opportunity to be a real catalyst in Lyttelton’s cultural landscape.” It is hoped the new museum will open its doors late in 2019.


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