29 Aug 2015

Hundreds attend Dunedin celebrations

4:56 pm on 29 August 2015

Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of people have visited Dunedin buildings today as part of the city's 150th anniversary Heritage Festival.

As part of the heritage festival, Farley's Arcade has been recreated as it was in 1865.

A recreation of Farley's Arcade circa 1865. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

In 1865 the southern city became the first in New Zealand to appoint a city council and mayor.

Of late Dunedin has hosted festivals of literature, steam and street art, and now it's the buildings' turn.

About 70 buildings, some rarely seen, threw open their doors to the public as part of an Open City programme.

Guided tours of at least six buildings were full, including Otago University's Anatomy Museum, the Historic Prison; and the city's former Dunedin Savings Bank, which is now a brothel, La Maison.

Ted Daniels in the Standard Building which he has spent the last 18 months restoring.

Ted Daniels in the Standard Building which he has spent the last 18 months restoring. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

A walk-through theatrical production recreated the city's first shopping alley, Farley's Arcade, just as it was in 1865.

Another popular building was the Standard Building on Princes Street, originally built in 1875 and about to reopen after a major restoration.

Ted Daniels has spent the last 18 months restoring it by hand after buying it in total disrepair.

Mr Daniels was today showing dozens of people through the five-storey building, which he said he had sunk more than $1 million into.

He has fully earthquake-strengthened the building, fashioned stone walls, and built a glass atrium and courtyard in the centre of the building.

Mr Daniels said people had been very positive, appreciating the effort put into reviving the building and the uniqueness of its space.

The organiser of the Heritage Festival, Ann Barsby, said she was delighted with the public response.

She said she did not yet know how many people had taken part, but it was certainly hundreds, and perhaps thousands.

The restored façade of the Standard Building.

The restored façade of the Standard Building. Photo: RNZ / Ian Telfer

A shoreline walk tomorrow morning will trace Dunedin's original shoreline, before large parts of the CBD were reclaimed from the sea.

The full list of events

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