Heritage advocates are furious approval has been given to demolish one of the last remaining buildings in Christchurch designed by renowned early 20th century architect Cecil Wood.
The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority (Cera) has granted a request for a section 38 demolition notice on the historic Bishop’s Residence, known as Bishopscourt, within the Bishopspark Retirement Village in Park Tce, opposite Hagley Park.
The authority has declined a request for a demolition order on the neighbouring chapel though.
Bishopscourt was designed by Wood and built in 1926 as the residence of the city’s Anglican bishop. It is owned by Anglican Care – an arm of the Anglican Diocese of Christchurch. It has the highest heritage rating possible in New Zealand with both a Heritage New Zealand category one and a Christchurch City Council group one classification.
“It’s a masterpiece of 1920s colonial Georgian style domestic architecture. It is considered to be Wood’s most important work of domestic architecture and is thought by many to be one of New Zealand’s finest colonial Georgian style domestic designs,” Historic Places Canterbury (HPC) deputy chairman Ross Gray said.
It was shocking and disappointing that Cera had given the demolition order as it was not a dangerous building nor was it holding up the timely and expeditious recovery of the city.