18 Jun 2016

Christchurch Great Hall reopens to public

12:44 pm on 18 June 2016

The Christchurch public will again be able to marvel at the beautiful Great Hall in the Arts Centre as it reopens its doors this weekend.

The memorial window, dedicated to former students who died in WWI, had to be removed, repaired and strengthened before taking pride of place in the hall again.

The memorial window, dedicated to former students who died in WWI, had to be removed, repaired and strengthened before taking pride of place in the hall again. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

The Great Hall is a key building within the Arts Centre, which is undergoing a $290 million restoration.

The centre covers a block of land in central Christchurch which houses 23 heritage buildings, many of which are stone buildings in the Gothic Revival style.

The centre was formerly the site for Canterbury University and Christchurch Boys' High School.

The Great Hall on the corner of Worcester Street and Rolleston Ave in central Christchurch.

The Great Hall on the corner of Worcester Street and Rolleston Ave in central Christchurch. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

The Great Hall was built in 1882 and featured a spectacular memorial window dedicated to former students who died in World War I.

The building suffered damage in the earthquakes, but over the last four and a half years underwent a massive restoration project.

An Arts Centre spokesperson said great care had been taken in restoring all the hall's beautiful heritage features, including the stunning memorial window and timber ceiling.

"Carefully hidden beneath the unique and beautiful surface are modern and sustainable technologies that ensure the hall will service the community better than ever."

Last week the hall hosted its first event, the 2016 Heritage Lecture by the Canterbury Heritage Awards Trust, but this weekend the public will be able to explore it.

From 10am today [Saturday] and tomorrow there will be live music and family activities.

The Arts Centre's chief executive, Andre Lovatt, inside the newly restored Great Hall.

The Arts Centre's chief executive, Andre Lovatt, inside the newly restored Great Hall. Photo: RNZ / Rachel Graham

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