1. Introduction - should Lyttelton's Timeball Rise Again?
The loss of the Lyttelton Timeball Station was a shock for many. The Darfield earthquake on the 4th September 2010 struck just after several projects at Timeball had been completed and this internationally significant historic place was looking wonderful.
The New Zealand Historic Places Trust’s (NZHPT) plan was to fix the damage done in September 2010 and reopen the Timeball Station. The February 2011 quake ended that dream, but the NZHPT oversaw the dismantling and careful storage of as much of the building’s materials as possible with the hope that, one day, we could explore options for this site.
The NZHPT relies on funding from donations, grants and bequests, and income from the properties we care for around the country. Without specific funding, opportunities to do anything with the Timeball site are limited.
So we are thrilled that a large donation (currently anonymous) has been offered to the NZHPT specifically to support some form of rebuild of the Timeball Station. This funding would not cover the full cost of a rebuild but NZHPT would have some insurance money to help, and we would look for other heritage-focussed funding sources too. Without this initial generous offer however, no rebuild would be possible.
We’ve thought hard about what we could do. A full rebuild probably would not be possible, but with so much of the building’s fabric retrieved, recorded and stored, we would be able to rebuild the tower, and let the Timeball rise again.
How long would it take to rebuild?
We are at the start of a process that could take several years. Finalising designs, securing all the funding we need, consent processes – these all need to be completed before any build can start.
THE BIG QUESTION...
But before that, our first step is ensuring we have the answer to the most important question of all...does the community want to see the Timeball rise again?
Both the NZHPT and the funder want your thoughts on the future of this site. The survey will take just a couple of minutes of your time and is anonymous (although you can choose to give us your contact details at the end and we will add you as a subscriber to our updates and news).
Click on the 'next' button to start the survey and thanks very much for your help.