Into the dust
The historic TVNZ building is no more
Last updated 16:47 29/04/2011
Nearly 90 years of broadcasting history came crashing down today with the demolition of the heritage-listed Television New Zealand Christchurch building.
The four-storey Gloucester St building suffered severe structural damage in the February quake and emergency workers have been able to recover only a few personal items since.
Today diggers started pulling the building apart, with work expected to be completed tomorrow.
TVNZ Christchurch bureau chief Steve Bloxham said when the quake struck the entire building was picked-up and dropped, leaving the central columns cracked and warped.
Staff were forced to kick down the front door to escape the building, with journalists setting up temporary base in an adjacent carpark, he said.
''It was a pretty unreal situation for everyone.''
The building was built in 1926, becoming the home for radio station 3YA in the same year.
It was taken over by New Zealand Broadcasting Board in 1932, spent a brief period within Government hands before being taken over by the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation.
In 1960, it made the switch from television to broadcasting Channel 3 Christchurch.
The Historic Places Trust lists it as category two heritage building.
A TVNZ spokeswoman said the company was still deciding what would be done with the Gloucester St site and to locate new permanent offices.