New plan for Christ Church Cathedral restoration

By Shelley Robinson

The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral in Cathedral Square. Photo / Geoff Sloan
The earthquake damaged Christ Church Cathedral in Cathedral Square. Photo / Geoff Sloan

Engineers have unveiled a plan which they say can allow for the restoration of the Christ Church Cathedral.

At the city council's earthquake forum yesterday representatives from the Great Christchurch Building Trust said the cathedral "is not ruined" and can be saved.

Independent Engineering Group chair, seismic and structural engineer Adam Thornton who advises the trust, unveiled the plan which was mooted by last year.

The plan is to have a large steel frame put inside what remains of the cathedral, which will slowly move along as smaller frames are deployed to the sides to strengthen it. Mr Thornton said workers would be protected from seismic events due to the frame.

Great Christchurch Building Trust spokesman and former MP Jim Anderton said there is a public misconception that the cathedral is "wrecked" and unsalvageable.

He said that if people viewed the Cathedral, not from the front, but from the side and back "you would see a completely different view".

"If you looked at the roof of that cathedral which is supposed to be the weak point it is in fact steel reinforced and that's why it is still there," he said.

"It is not wrecked, from the back or from the side and the roof

"We don't want every brick and nail back exactly where it used to be but we would like to see as much restored as possible.

"More importantly now a symbol of the rebuild of the city."

- CHRISTCHURCH STAR

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