Friday, April 8, 2011

Ferry Road Demolition & RC Cathedral Collapse, Christchurch Quake

01.04.11. During my wanderings in the newly opened Christchurch red zone, no access, during the national state of emergency, I coolpixed a brick bldg demolition in Ferry Rd & St Asaph St fork, behind Christchurch Polytechnic. Three diggers hacked the old, brick bldg to bits. Over the next couple of years 1 000s of quake trashed houses & CBD bldgs were hacked away by demolition diggers.

Close by were more Feb 22 quake trashed, old, brick bldgs. Old brick & stone bldgs were damaged the most by Christchurch quakes. Victorians & Edwardians built brick & stone death traps in a quake zone on a bog.

I'd seen many brick bldgs demolished post Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes. There were many more demolitions to go, especially post June 13 quake.

Images, quake damaged Barbadoes St:


From Ferry Rd, between Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes, I saw Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament intact. Despite Sept 4 quake damage, it stood proud with copper dome & copper domed twin towers and clad in Oamaru white stone. For brevity I called The Cathedral of the Blessed Sacrament the RC Cathedral.


Intact RC Cathedral with twin towers, Barbadoes St, between Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes


A lot of Christchurch Council / ratepayers' money was spent quake strengthening the RC Cathedral, Barbadoes St, pre Sept 4 quake, 7.1 magnitude, which damaged the RC Cathedral, leaving it closed, fence cordoned, useless. The fence cordon & shipping container barrier obstructed Barbadoes St traffic for months between Sept 4 & Feb 22 quakes.


Likewise the Music Centre of Christchurch, next to RC Cathedral, Barbadoes St, was damaged by the Sept 4 & Boxing Day quakes. The Music Centre was demolished post Feb 22 quake.

The RC Cathedral was concrete brick construction, clad in creamy Oamaru limestone. When the Feb 22 quake struck, 6.3 magnitude, the RC Cathedral was trashed, twin towers collapsed.

Luke was bussing to town along Moorhouse Ave when the Feb 22 quake struck. From the bus Luke watched trees dancing in Hagley Park. The bus driver dropped off passengers on Moorhouse Ave. Luke was one of the first to see the RC Cathedral's collapsed towers. During aftershocks, when all hell broke loose, Luke was savvy enough not to walk home to Burnside through the CBD. Luckily his girlfriend's SUV passed & picked up Luke. After a 3 day sojourn in quake trashed, South New Brighton he arrived home in Burnside.

Images, quake damaged fork St Asaph St / Ferry Rd:


(1) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake asbestos warning sign, St Asaph St / Ferry Rd fork demolition site, red zone, national state of emergency


(2) 01.04.11. Two diggers demolishing an old brick bldg, St Asaph St / Ferry Rd fork, red zone, national state of emergency. RC Cathedral backdrop

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(28) 01.04.11. Three diggers demolishing a Feb 22 quake damaged bldg, Ferry Rd / St Asaph St fork, red zone, national state of emergency

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(30) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake damaged bldg, St Asaph St near Barbadoes St crossing, red zone, national state of emergency. RC Cathedral backdrop


(31) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake trashed RC Cathedral seen from Moorhouse Ave, red zone, national state of emergency

Images, quake damaged Barbadoes St:


(32) 01.04.11. Moorhouse Ave view of Feb 22 quake trashed, RC Cathedral facade, Barbadoes St, red zone, national state of emergency


(33) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake trashed RC Cathedral, Barbadoes St, red zone national state of emergency

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(41) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake trashed Music Centre of Christchurch, Barbadoes St, red zone, national state of emergency. The Music Centre was demolished


(42) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake collapsed tower, RC Cathedral, Barbadoes St, red zone, national state of emergency

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45. 01.04.11. Virgin Mary statue turned 180 degrees during the Feb 22 quake, to face Barbadoes St, while the RC Cathedral tower collapsed above the statue, red zone, national state of emergency

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(62) 01.04.11. Feb 22 quake trashed RC Cathedral facade & Music Centre of Christchurch, Barbadoes St, red zone, national state of emergency. The Music Centre was demolished

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Post 13.06.11 quake, copper was dismantled from the dome, then the dome was removed by crane. Over many months, the RC cathedral was deconstructed, stone by stone, while stacked shipping containers supported the N & S transept walls & remains of the collapsed NW tower, Barbadoes St facade. Considering how much pre quakes money was spent strengthening the RC Cathedral, deconstruction was a waste of money.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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