Readers defend historic Masterton sites

By Don Farmer don.farmer@age.co.nz -
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The Wairarapa Times-Age building is a classic example of character architecture. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN
The Wairarapa Times-Age building is a classic example of character architecture. PHOTO/EMILY NORMAN

Masterton people have shown they are willing to stand up and speak out on how they feel about retaining the town's old, character buildings in the face of gradual, creeping destruction of buildings in and around the central business district.

In Saturday's Times-Age we asked readers to give their views on whether enough thought was being given to retaining buildings that have helped to shape the town over decades, instead of laying them to waste.

Renewed awareness of the safety of buildings has infiltrated communities throughout the country since the Christchurch earthquakes, putting pressure on the owners of buildings to access buildings and strengthen them if needed.

Lack of government help, through tax breaks to have this work done, has led to some claiming the owners of older, character buildings will be more inclined to bulldoze buildings rather than being faced with the prospect of having top shoulder big bills to fix them.

In the first 48 hours since publication we fielded many calls and received emails and texts from readers which, so far, have heavily supported retaining heritage and character buildings.

Below are some of the readers' responses:

I would like to see an architect or some other suitable person, make a catalogue of buildings that are worth keeping and of historical interest. -- Sylvia Howden

Please, please, please keep at least the facade of our old buildings. They are so much more majestic and interesting than the modern ones. Look at how Greytown has used their old buildings as an attraction, not a demolition problem. -- Jackie Seta

No more demolitions please. The replacement sheds have no character and are not built to last.

Leave these old buildings standing. Ever since the Christchurch earthquake all this reinforcement of buildings & increase in insurances, where is it all going to end? It doesn't matter how good the building is, a massive shake could still bring the building down, am I wrong?

Please save the old buildings especially ones like Trust Lands Trust building and any Art Deco ones. If not Masterton will be left characterless with a mismatch of buildings unless replaced by ultramodern, futuristic, architect-designed ones to drag Masterton into 21 century.

Terrible pulling all the old buildings down.

Save the old buildings

Save the old buildings. It was quite unbelievable to see the old Wright Stephenson building demolished, very sad to see this go. Sincerely, M

Good idea TA. Time we spoke up and help saved our heritage. Too much wrecking of good old buildings.

I am very saddened to see old buildings destroyed, they are part of our history and can never be replaced. When visiting the UK and Europe was delighted to see how prized and cared for their old buildings are, and feel our heritage is being destroyed. Please developers, stop doing this! -- Joan Dickens

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