Bit of a rush post, because you only have one day to view this – Rostrevor House, the greenish building on the corner of Marion Street and Vivian Street, is having giant strengthening frames installed today. It’s pretty exciting stuff.
The frames (made by Fitzroy Engineering in New Plymouth) have travelled down at night and are going to be craned into position today. Honestly: blink and you’ll miss it happening. The whole project has been several years in the planning, and it happens today – a building that was ground breaking in its construction method in the 1960s, and now is having an amazing transformation into a new, non-earthquake-prone building. Yes, the giant bracing frames will alter the look of the building forever, but it also means that the building will no longer be at risk of toppling into the street in the case of a really big tremor.
The bracing frames are massive – 8m wide and 23m tall – and extend from the ground all the way up to nearly the top floor. I imagine that the highway was not flowing freely with traffic last night! Two massive trucks, four frames in total, all to be put up today. Normally / often these are installed a floor at a time, but these are going in on such a high traffic area that they want to get them all done in one day. The Vivian Street side, presumably, will be done in the dark tonight, under the light of the full moon…
It is sort of amazing – the massive size and weight of these – yet they are lifted into place with some pretty slim chains, obviously with incredible strength. If you get a chance, go watch it today ! Mind you, it will be there for the next 100 years, so if you do miss it today, it will still be there tomorrow!
They’ve got 2 frames in today (front and back) and then they have the two ends to do tomorrow. Quite amazing to watch the rear frame being lifted right up and over the building in one go. New pictures below: