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Strike up the band for Edmonds Band Rotunda return

Wednesday, March 11, 2020   Posted in: Signatory Notice Board By: Administrator With tags: repair, recovery, recreation, built environment

Christchurch City Council Newsline: 11th March 2020

A project to restore Christchurch’s heritage Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda on the banks of the Avon River is set to start this week. Under the $1.5 million Christchurch City Council rebuild project, the rotunda will be fully reinstated - complete with the original 70-tonne copper-sheathed dome – in Cambridge Terrace.

The Canterbury Earthquake Appeal Trust has donated $1 million towards the reinstatement.

The rotunda sustained major earthquake-related damage in 2010 and 2011, leaving only the dome in one piece, along with the entrance steps. The restored rotunda will be used as a performance venue and is due to reopen in early 2021.

The classical-style rotunda was built in 1929 as a gift to the people of Christchurch from Thomas Edmonds – the man behind the Edmonds Cookery Book and Sure to Rise Baking Powder.

Head of Parks Andrew Rutledge says the rotunda will bring music back to the riverbank, operating as a performance venue. “We are investing in the area by restoring such an important historic building to its former glory – and in a much stronger form – to again take centre stage alongside the Avon River,” Mr Rutledge says.

“The rotunda is a major asset for the city, offering people a sense of place and familiarity in a rapidly changing environment. It will be the centrepiece of the riverside precinct.”

The rotunda was designed by Victor Hean, and is one of several structures funded by Edmonds to mark 50 years of business in the city.

The River Precinct – near the Margaret Mahy Family Playground – features several Edmonds-linked heritage landmarks, including the neighbouring Pavilion, the Edmonds Clock Tower on the corner of Madras Street and Oxford Terrace, the Telephone Cabinet and the River Wall.

“It will once again be an important reminder of the past but a tourist attraction for the future,” Mr Rutledge says.

“It presents a strong link to our local history but opens the door to a unique precinct that will draw more people to this part of the city centre.”

The reinstated rotunda – a category 2 historic place – will include a curved staircase.

Edmonds was a brass band enthusiast, and a strong supporter of the local band in Woolston where he originally owned a grocery store.

Healthy Christchurch Champions

  • Canterbury District Health Board
  • Christchurch City Council
  • Environment Canterbury
  • Ministry of Health
  • Ngai Tahu
  • NZ Police
  • Pegasus Health
  • University of Otago, Christchurch