Big lift for historic lodge in Christchurch

The future of one of Christchurch’s oldest buildings is up in the air as part of a restoration project in the centre of the Meadowlands subdivision in west Christchurch.

Meadowlands is currently a work in progress between Hendersons, Halswell, Sparks and Milns Roads.

Rod Moore of House Lifters said he believed the technology used to slide Spreydon Lodge to its new position was unique to his company.

The house would become the entry point to the new subdivision and commercial area, and initially be used to showcase sales information.

“We’re the only company using a ground screw system where no concrete is required to anchor the house while it’s being moved.

“It’s European technology. The screw is inserted into the ground rather than using a temporary timber pile and then unscrewed on completion leaving the site clean.

“It’s an environmentally more cost efficient option saving time on materials and labour.

“We’ve used 100 screws and built tracks on top for the house to be moved on.

“The total distance to slide it is 50 metres and includes rotating the 40 tonne house to suit the new entrance.”

Moore said House Lifters specialised in heritage projects and was busy lifting and sliding churches, heritage buildings and homes.

Simon Mortlock, a shareholder of development company Danne Mora Holdings, said the house did not have a heritage listing and might have been demolished.

“We had an assessment done by Jenny May a Christchurch architectural historian and she found the first part was built in 1854 by Sefton Moorhouse, and an addition built in 1874.

Moorhouse was an early superintendent of Canterbury in the 1860s and later became a mayor of Wellington. His name was given to Moorhouse Ave in Christchurch and the Moorhouse Range and Mt Sefton in the Southern Alps. There is a statue of him in the Christchurch Botanic gardens.

Mortlock said his development company was currently creating the infrastructure for Meadowlands ahead of a marketing push and new web site in late Spring to build on the 30-odd section sales so far.

Work was under way on the commercial town centre, he said.

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