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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Heritage building too damaged to save (St Elmo Courts)

Personal note: One of Alister's aunts once owned this building.

Heritage building too damaged to save

Last updated 05:00 21/03/2011
Demolition of an 80-year-old Christchurch building began yesterday after it was deemed too earthquake-damaged to survive.

The St Elmo Courts building, on the corner of Hereford and Montreal streets, was built in 1930.

Its future was in doubt after the September earthquake, which rendered it too unsafe to use without significant strengthening.

However, Civil Defence national controller John Hamilton said its owner and insurer had agreed the February quake had sealed its fate.

"The owner, as I understand, has been attempting to get it into operation, but it was damaged again on the 22nd and again, as I understand, the owner and his insurer have come to an agreement its demolition is the only path available," he said.

Hamilton said St Elmo Courts was outside the central business district, where a moratorium on demolition was put in place.

John Paul Stil, operations manager for Nikau Contractors, said the demolition could take up to a month.

He confirmed the work was going ahead with approval from the owner. The company hoped to recycle most of the waste debris for use in other buildings.

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