It is great to hear the news that the Great Hall in the Arts Centre in Christchurch has finally reopened. The once-vibrant Arts Centre, made up of buildings that had been the buildings of Canterbury College and two of the city’s secondary schools, was devastated by the Christchurch Earthquakes.
The massive project to reopen the buildings, which were largely designed by architects Benjamin Woolfield Mountfort and Samuel Hurst Seager, will run until 2019 and is being staged so buildings will be reopened as they are completed. The excellent Arts Centre website sets out the rebuild project and the history of the buildings: http://www.artscentre.org.nz/history/rebuild/
The Great Hall, which was built in 1882, was originally used for small lectures, and housed a library, but later used for more events by the university, and remained an important place for the city’s events when the university moved out of the buildings. Following the restoration it has been reopened to the community and can be hired for events again.
The World War One memorial stained glass window in the Great Hall, made up of 4,000 individual pieces, which took two people two years to restore.
Images from http://www.artscentre.org.nz