US building restoration expert Professor Marcus Brandt is returning to Christchurch next week to continue his advocacy for a wooden spire for the city’s Anglican cathedral.
Professor Brandt, who has been restoring historic structures for 30 years, will be back in the city on Wednesday 11 July to speak at a new, free, weekly lecture series, called “What if Wednesdays”, run by the University of Canterbury.
His talk, “What if we could save the Anglican cathedral?”, is expected to attract strong interest with Professor Brandt describing the cathedral as the most controversial heritage project he had ever worked on.
Professor Brandt, who is Adjunct Professor of Architecture at Lehigh University in Pennsylvania, visited Christchurch in late May where he explained his vision for a "cost-effective" restoration option for the heritage building and its spire.
Professor Brandt will present on the options and practical challenges associated with restoring the cathedral and the associated cost. He has previously proposed a new timber frame tower that could be installed on the base of the spire. It would be hoisted into place by hand and take about 500 people to raise the spire in a traditional manner using ropes and pulleys.
Tim Preston, a local civil engineer and supporter of the restoration of the cathedral, said Professor Brandt would talk about ways to stabilise the cathedral and make it safe to work on, along with dispelling and debunking commonly held beliefs and misunderstandings about stone masonry. He will also outline other international examples of stone building restoration and compare what has been achieved elsewhere with the challenges facing the Christ Church Cathedral.
For more information about this lecture and the “What if Wednesdays” series, or to register your interest in attending, go to http://www.canterbury.ac.nz/wiw/.
Who: Marcus Brandt, Adjunct Professor of Architecture, Lehigh University, Pennsylvania
When: Wednesday 11 July, 6.30pm-8pm
Where: Undercroft, James Hight Building, University of Canterbury