Sep 3, 2008

Publish and be Damned

The vandalised Art Nouveau interior of the 1914 Ozone Hotel on Marine Parade at New Brighton.

Occupying a site of commercial development potential, the fate of the historically significant former convalescent home for World War I soldiers, would appear to be following an all too familiar pattern in the only New Zealand city not to afford protection for historic buildings.

Subsequent to a failure to undertake regular maintenance, the Ozone Hotel became vacant for an extended period. The next step in the sequence is to allow unrestricted access to the interior, which is then subjected to vandalism. In the case of the hotel this occured during the last weekend of August, 2008. Canterbury Heritage notified the owner's Agent of this unfortunate development, but the communication was ignored.

Like the 1870 Ti Kouka House on Cambridge Terrace, the next step is a suspicious fire, thereby justifying the building's demolition...

Illustrations from a photographic sequence by ars666

Update: 5 September 2008

A Canterbury Heritage field observer reports that today a caretaker was seen to be patching up the broken window on the front of the hotel. This caretaker also reports that the hotel failed to sell at yesterday's Mortgagee Auction. For now, at least, the historic building has been given a stay of execution.

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