Fyffe House reopens a year after earthquake
Historic Fyffe House has reopened almost a year after being damaged in November’s earthquake.
Kaiko¯ura’s oldest surviving building, and the last remnant of a pioneer whaling station, opened its doors to the public on Friday.
‘‘It’s a relief we have finally been able to get to the point of reopening Fyffe House as Heritage New Zealand is keen to play its part in the rejuvenation of tourism in Kaikoura,’’ said heritage assets manager south Paul McGahan.
‘‘Fyffe House staff are looking forward to being able to host visitors again and the popular Music on the Lawn event will run in late January.’’
The property sustained damage to its chimneys in the earthquake.
The quake-damaged building was deemed unsafe and received a yellow sticker.
Repairs to address safety issues had been completed and signed off an engineer, after an inspection by Kaiko¯ura District Council.
Work still remains to be done to complete repairs on the building but the work is unlikely to prevent visitors from accessing the property.
Fyffe House manager Ann McCaw said there are still superficial cracks in the interior but it is safe to be open.
The remaining exterior repair work is expected to be carried out over the coming summer months, and plastering over the cracks will be done in winter.
McCaw said it was good to be able to get the house open in time for the tourist season.
‘‘It’s come back to life,’’ she said.
‘‘Everything was packed up and looking grim and seemed uncared for.
‘‘It was a ghost of a house really and getting it set back up makes it alive again.’’
McCaw said they were incredibly lucky - the damage could have been much worse.
‘‘The issues haven’t been huge but it has been difficult to resolve them and now we can focus on getting the rest of the work done,’’ she said.
Fyffe House on Avoca St is open from 10am to 5pm every day.
Visitor host Susan Thomas at Kaiko¯ura’s Fyffe House on Friday. The quakedamaged historic house has reopened a year after the 7.8-magnitude earthquake.