Deconstruction slated

Published April 1, 2012

ChristChurch Cathedral
Photo: Gabriel, Wikimedia Commons

New Zealand’s earthquake-wracked ChristChurch Cathedral will be torn down to meet safety requirements.

The iconic cathedral is now “a very dangerous building that needs to be made safe,” said ChristChurch Bishop Victoria Matthews in a statement issued March 2.

She emphasized that the building will be deconstructed to a level of two to three metres with “the utmost care and respect” and without the use of bulldozers or wrecking balls. She also pointed out that the church consists of people not buildings.

Built in the late 19th century, the cathedral was among thousands of buildings badly damaged by a 6.3-magnitude  earthquake that struck ChristChurch Feb. 22, 2011, killing 185. The cathedral was further damaged by quakes on Dec. 23.

Engineering and heritage re-assessments will help determine realistic options for the cathedral’s future, said Bishop Matthews. “We are a resurrection people. No amount of death and destruction will defeat us.”


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