‘Magnificent architecture lost’

2009-05-15 00:00

ONLY wet streets and a burnt piece of timber lying by the red corrugated fence sealing off the historic Colonial Building from the street, hinted at Friday’ inferno when The Witness visited the site this weekend.

Not a single passer-by failed to sneak a peek at the ruins of the Colonial Building.

Construction on the site continued at the rear of the monument, which was not as badly affected by the fire; at the front entrance, two firemen stood talking about the blaze.

Although they wouldn’t comment on the fire, they said emergency services worked until the early hours of Saturday morning damping down the site.

One added that they returned a few hours before to check that the fire didn’t re-ignite.

A sub-contractor, John Hall, said close to three months of renovation work by his company has been destroyed in the fire.

“And the worst part is that the majority of our work was meant to be done on the front section where I’d say that two-thirds of it is destroyed,” he said, “and that means that we have no work for three more months — but we’ll see.”

Hall said he hopes he will be reimbursed for the work all ready done. “Thankfully, a lot of the material we had on site was saved,” he added.

“Nearly the entire structure is made out of timber,” said another subcontractor who asked not to be named, “and the timber is over 108 years old. It was very dry — perfect firewood — so the fire spread very quickly.”

From the street, one could see just how quickly and how far the fire had spread with windows shattered on all floors.

From the roof of the building across the street one could see how the fire had engulfed both the middle and left dome on the roof of the historic landmark. The smoke stained the walls of nearly all the adjacent rooms black.

“I think that people are seeing this fire as more dramatic than it actually is in financial terms,” said the architect in charge of the renovation project, Nick Grice. “What is a pity is that the most magnificent part of the building in terms of architecture was destroyed.”

He said that what needs to be done to restore the burnt part of the building would be decided in a meeting today.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.