96 Lichfield Street, Christchurch
The Wellington Woollen Manufacturing Company built this new city centre warehouse and factory in 1919. Designed by the prominent architect William Henry Gummer, it was a technologically pioneering four-storeyed building supported by a grid of 40 reinforced concrete columns. Decorated in a stripped classical style, and an example of post WWI commercial architecture, the building is a valuable asset to the inner-city streetscape.
Some strengthening work in 2002 saw the building repurposed to student accommodation. However, the building was damaged in the 2010-2011 Christchurch earthquakes and has not be used since. Primarily due to the unreinforced stone facade, the building has a current rating of less than 34%NBS.
A Heritage EQUIP upgrade works grant will go towards pinning, bracing and repairing the facade, strengthening and re-connecting the walls/columns/floors, along with new shear walls and support beams.
The building is listed with Heritage New Zealand category 1 historic place and listed as a heritage item on the Christchurch District Plan.