A Dunedin building ”not fit for pigeons to live in” has gone from abandoned wreck to winner of the top award at the Dunedin Heritage Awards.

The Dunedin Heritage Re-use Award was won by Ted Daniels for the restoration and preservation of the historic Standard Building in Princes St.

Mr Daniels bought the building eight years ago and has spent several years bringing it back to life through a mixture of preservation of historic elements, recreation of lost details and the careful insertion of new and exciting features such as a main staircase.

”It was in pretty bad condition when I bought it. It was waterlogged, it had rotten floors, the facade was orange, all the ornaments were taken off and pigeons were living inside.

”It wasn’t even fit for pigeons to live in. Most people would have looked at it and thought to demolish it.”

But Mr Daniels saw potential in the building.

”There is a lot of history in the building and that is very important to me. It’s a pretty unique building. It has a bluestone wall in there from 1860 which no-one knew existed.”

Mr Daniels was delighted with the award, and said all the positive feedback he had received about the restoration had made all the money and time poured into it worthwhile.

”It’s been very rewarding.”

The awards, held at Toitu Otago Settlers Museum last night, recognised excellence and innovation in the reuse of heritage buildings and a range of people involved in heritage re-use, including building owners, conservation professionals, project managers and engineers.

Dunedin City Council heritage policy planner Dan Windwood said the winners demonstrated the many uses that could be found for Dunedin’s heritage buildings, making sure the city’s unique history was not lost.

”The awards are an exciting time each year to acknowledge efforts being made across the city to restore and revitalise heritage buildings and show the public some of the excellent work that’s being done.”

Other winners were: Dunedin Heritage Re-use Award highly commended: Gallaway Cook Allan, 123 Vogel St (owner Chris Barnes); Earthquake Strengthening Award: 123 Vogel St; Heritage Interiors Award: 123 Vogel St; Earthquake Strengthening Award, highly commended: 90 Bond St (owner Hayden Cawte); David Cox Memorial Award: New New New, 218 Crawford St.


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