Saturday, August 16, 2008

Provincial Council Buildings

Provincial Council Buildings

above - the Provincial Council Buildings in 1864.
Photographer unknown.

Our new Council-chamber is fast rising, and will certainly be something for Canterbury to be proud of. The dimensions are something like 65 feet by 35 feet; the style, pointed and freely treated; the two-light windows on either side are deeply recessed behind an arcade, to which shafts, of a stone resembling Purbeck marble, will give an excellent effect. The timber roof, or rather ceiling, may be described as "ridge and furrow," in the form of a well pronounced pointed arch. It is to be divided by ribs into bays at each window, over which the ridges and furrows terminate in section, the principal ribbing arches being carried on columned corbels.

Mountfort's Provincial Council Chamber was the first New Zealand building to receive statutory protection with the enactment of the Canterbury Provincial Buildings Vesting Act in 1928. In 1937 the Act was amended to extend protection to the whole complex.
Photographer unknown.

There is much of novelty in the design of this roof; and one thing is certain, it will imperatively demand colour; and here will be the difficulty; it would really be worth while to send to England for an artist who would do it well; for to mar such a piece of work by any paltry makeshifts, for the sake of temporary effect, would be a thousand pities.

A range of buildings, to be used as refreshment or retiring-rooms, is also going forward. Mr. Mountfort is the architect, and may be congratulated on such a success as I venture to say this building will be. The same artist has also in hand the buildings for the Supreme Court, which will be erected on a block of land adjacent to the present Government Buildings, and which will eventually continue the facade along the river.
Nelson Examiner and New Zealand Chronicle, Volume XXIII, Issue 150, 12 December 1864, Page 6

Government Building, Christchurch, N.Z
no. 18286 J.V.
by James Valentine and Co. of Dundee, Scotland.
Archive held by the University of St. Andrews, Scotland

Government Buildings, Christchurch
photographed by James Gardner sometime before 1914

Old Provincial Buildings, Christchurch, NZ.
Tourist Series 1826
Photographer unknown

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