Otahuna Lodge will re-open on 10 January 2011, following its closure due to the 7.1-magnitude Canterbury Earthquake on 4 September.
The celebrated 115-year old manor house sustained significant damages, primarily to its 11 original chimneys. All of the chimneys have been reinstated to accommodate the property's 17 working fireplaces. Otahuna's restoration programme is thus far the most advanced of any undertaken to a heritage building in Canterbury, having the full support of local governments and the New Zealand Historic Places Trust.
"We are fortunate that the Lodge incurred no structural damage," says Hall Cannon. "All seven of Otahuna's suites have been restored to their previous condition, with interior furnishings and artworks entirely unaffected by the quake. We are looking very forward to opening once again to guests."
A daily average of more than 40 tradesmen, engineers and architects, overseen by Estate Manager Dave Kilday, have been working onsite since September. Repairs and seismic strengthening have incorporated the installation of 3.5 tonnes of plywood, 6,000 slate shingles and the re-plastering and painting of more than 200 wall and ceiling surfaces.
The 30 acres of botanic gardens surround the property were not affected by the earthquake.
"The period since 4 September has posed challenges unprecedented for Otahuna in its 115-year history," Cannon says. "However, we have been tremendously heartened by the help of so many to restore and rebuild one of New Zealand's most important residences. I have every confidence that the Lodge will operate at an even higher standard after its re-opening."
For further information or for reservations, please contact Otahuna Lodge on +64 3 329 6333 or via email at email@example.com.
Additionally, detailed information on the recovery process can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/otahuna.