The groundwork has started for repairs to the historic Boathouse on the Nelson waterfront.
The 112-year-old wooden building which has been home to a rowing club, sea scouts, and years of post-war Saturday night dances, was badly damaged in this week's storm, when large sea swells rolled into the harbour and tore through several waterfront buildings.
Manager Ali Howard said thousands of dollars were spent on re-doing the piles in recent years, which she believed saved it from ruin. She said damage was limited to the floorboards which were pushed up by the sea, and a huge mess to clean up.
There was never any question it would not be repaired.
"It's really floorboards ... and a hell of a mess. And the great thing is, it can be repaired. It's a wooden building - a gorgeous wooden building and it needs to be back again. But yeah, it's just the wooden floors that can be repaired."
Ms Howard said a priority had been the hasty re-arrangement of bookings for weddings and concerts.
"Most of the brides and grooms have been really amazing. They've been so supportive and lovely, and then we've had this amazing amount of support - we've been swamped.
"People have offered to help, and also do fund-raising events for us, which will be just so valuable."
Ms Howard said they would wait on insurance assessments and engineers' reports before proceeding with repairs.
The Boathouse was built by the Nelson Rowing Club in 1906, and in the 1920s it became the home of the Iron Duke Sea Scouts. After World War II, it became a popular Saturday night dance hall.
By the 1970s its existence was threatened when dances went out of fashion and the scouts moved to another location. The public rallied to save it from demolition, and 25 residents bought the building.
Information on the Boathouse website says they formed The Iron Duke Boat Club Society, but later changed the name to The Boathouse Society.
Memberships were offered and restoration started in 1992. Its original features were retained or reused and the old timber recycled, where possible.
It has since been a thriving waterfront venue for live music, private and public functions and members meet regularly to brunch and dine at its cafe.