After nearly two years of meticulous repair and restoration work, the picturesque Mona Vale Homestead reopened this morning.
Built in 1899–1900, Mona Vale Homestead is classed by Heritage New Zealand and Christchurch City Council as being of the highest possible heritage significance. The building has a long history, most recently as a popular restaurant and venue for weddings, parties and conferences. In the February 2011 earthquake, the Homestead – with its unreinforced brick construction – was badly damaged.
The ribbon was cut by Fendalton Councillor Jamie Gough, whose family owned Mona Vale from 1939 to 1962.
“Mona Vale dates back to the very earliest days of Christchurch,” Cr Gough says. “The Homestead as we see it today has undergone quite the transformation – from a picture of collapsed masonry and extensive damage into a seismically-strengthened masterpiece that can once again play a significant role in the life of Christchurch.”
The Council’s Heritage Programme team has repaired and strengthened the homestead to 67 per cent of the New Building Standard, with upgrades made to the heating and lighting systems.
“The Homestead has been painstakingly reassembled, brick by brick, so it looks just as it did beforehand – only now it has a steel and timber structure behind the facade that will ensure its future is at least as long as its history,” Cr Gough says.
The property has been buzzing with activity of late, with other treasured heritage buildings on the site getting the royal treatment. The Mona Vale Fernery and Mona Vale Lodge are now repaired and open to the public, and work is currently underway on the Mona Vale Gate House. The historic rose garden wall and the Mona Vale Bath House are next on the list.
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