October 30, 2012

Save Auckland's Heritage

I live in a relatively new country which has very little in the way of built heritage. Christchurch, probably our prettiest city, lost almost all of their heritage buildings in earthquakes last year. Meanwhile for decades Auckland has been steadily destroying it's character buildings in favour of often pretty hideous new structures.

Lately old houses in historic inner city suburbs have started disappearing. There is very little zoning to protect these old places, all you need is a demolition permit from council, you don't even need to notify the public, or even your neighbour.

The next place to go will be this grand old Victorian Villa currently occupied by a Thai Restaurant. Naturally people aren't very happy!


gabi campanario said...

Great story told with great sketches, Murray. It makes me wonder, is there something like a Historic Preservation Society in Auckland? Seattle is only 150 years old and has experience the same razing of historical buildings over the years. We have this one: http://www.historicseattle.org/

Murray Dewhurst said...

Thanks Gabi! We do have the Historic Places Trust which does a good job of saving the most important and exceptional buildings, but most old houses miss out on their support. I think they just need to spread their classification umbrella a bit wider.

quirkyartist said...

I come from south Canterbury and I know that there are some lovely old farmhouses, not dissimilar to this one, in the country there. I wonder if they are still there. Haven't been back for quite a few years.

Murray Dewhurst said...

I know a lot of the big ones came down, especially if they were of brick construction. Some areas miraculously came through unscathed though apparently.