Digital Photograph: Demolition of the former Library, Council Chambers and Magistrates' Court, corner of Oxford Street and Sumner Road, Lyttelton

Michael Davies
Production date
11 Jun 2011
One landscape colour digital photograph taken on 11 June 2011 showing the demolition of the old Lyttelton Library, Council Chambers and Magistrates' Court on the corner of Oxford Street and Sumner Road. The photograph shows the upper floor of the building being demolished with a high reach digger and a jet of water being played on the building to minimise demolition dust. The room exposed to view is the former Lyttelton Borough Council Chamber. At the time of the 22 February 2011 Earthquake the building was in private ownership and was the premises of Moda Fotografica and a private residence.
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Researcher comments/remarks
The use of high reach excavators fitted with demolition jaws became widespread after the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes. The long reach of the booms on the excavators enabled damaged buildings to be demolished without endangering workers through having them in or on the structure of the building as it became more unstable. The stream of water being played onto the building is used to suppress the dust created by breaking up of the bricks, mortar and concrete during the demolition. Several features of this building including the large curved window frames were salvaged and re-used in the temporary landscaping of the site.
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Associated place notes
Sumner Road; Oxford Street
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