Saturday, July 13, 2024

Facelift for historic mines office

Granity’s former Mines Survey office building, built in 1892 and currently owned by the Northern Buller Communities Society Incorporated has recently had extensive renovations completed on its exterior.

“This historically important building is listed Category II with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust and believed to be one of the last surviving buildings constructed in Buller by the Westport Coal Company,” said Northern Buller Communities Society Secretary, Jackie Mathers.

“This much-needed restoration has given the community a real boost, ensuring the building will remain a local icon for future generations.”

The project was funded by $25,000 of Better Off funding from the Department of Internal Affairs, with support from Buller District Council.

The renovation project has involved re-piling, re-roofing and removing two sides of the building’s cladding, whilst salvaging as much reusable timber as possible during the process. A disabled access ramp has also been added.

Any rotten, damaged or incorrectly profiled original cladding was replaced with Heritage New Zealand approved, and historically sympathetic weatherboard, much of which was custom-made in Christchurch especially for the project.

Volunteers pre-painted the new bespoke Victorian weatherboard cladding prior to its replacement. Insect protection of the internal timbers and installation of insulation was also completed during this phase of the renovations.

Several rotten studs were uncovered during work on the northern wall, and these needed to be replaced, along with the removal of a non-original five-pane window at the rear of the building. Any original timber removed in reasonably good condition has either been re-used or set aside for future repairs.

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