Tuesday, May 21, 2024
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Refurbishment for Historic Museum Building

The Lakes District Museum in Arrowtown is proposing a major refit of the original Bank of New Zealand building which houses its main gallery space.

Director, David Clarke, says the plan is to reveal as much heritage fabric as possible, currently concealed under more modern linings.

The redesign has been prompted by earthquake strengthening work, which is required to keep the building open.

“Becausethe extensive seismic strengthening involves removing the roof, we started investigating returning the building to how it looked up until it was reroofed circa 1954,” says David. “The original was designed by RA Lawson, one of the region’s finest Victorian architects, and was built with a decorative parapet and four distinct chimneys. It is still a striking building and a cornerstone of the Arrowtown streetscape and we believe bringing it back to its former look will give it a real wow factor.”

The early BNZ stables located behind the building also require strengthening.

“A steel structure has to go inside both buildings and a rod inserted into the stone and cemented in place to strengthen the old stables in the event of an earthquake. We are well advanced with engineering and conservation plans in place. Next we need to undertake further planning for interior fabric replacement and apply for resource consent and building consent before we start a mammoth fundraising exercise.”

“The fundraising is critical to complete the project otherwise a large part of the museum will be forced to close,” says David. “We are hoping to get the project underway in 2021 and I expect the refurbishment will produce one of the most beautiful heritage buildings in the Wakatipu.”