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Christchurch City Council Media Release Tuesday 1 June 1999



After significant restoration of the historic building, the Christchurch City Council is preparing to call for ‘Registrations of Interest’ for the commercial use of the ‘Bellamys’ wing, at the Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, Durham Street.

"In considering the proposals, Council will be looking for a business whose use of the Bellamys rooms would complement and enhance the unique nature of the building", says Property Projects Manager, Angus Smith. "Bellamys has a history of a variety of uses, proving it is a viable space for many different types of commercial businesses".

Built in 1865, the Bellamys wing was originally the refreshment rooms for members of the Canterbury Provincial Council. "The first floor smoking room was obviously well appreciated at the time of construction", says Jenny May, Heritage Planner, referring to an often-quoted statement from the Lyttelton Times of 1865:

"Those of the Provincial Councillors who solace themselves with a pipe may truly be congratulated on possessing the pleasantest room in Canterbury".

After the dissolution of the Provincial Council in 1876 the buildings were used as offices by government departments. Since the City Council took over the administration of the buildings in 1993, Bellamys’ wing has undergone extensive restoration, structural strengthening, and landscaping. The final stage of the conservation programme, the authentic restoration of the interior of Bellamys’ wing, is due for completion in September 1999.

Bellamys, which takes its name from the social and dining facilities at the Houses of Parliament, Westminster, has three levels: At ground level, overlooking the Avon River, is the ‘dining room’, cellar and kitchen. The second floor is the former ‘smoking room’, also previously used as a museum and office, while the top floor was originally built as living quarters for a housekeeper.

The request for registrations of interest will be publicly notified from Friday 4 June and closes on Friday 2 July 1999.


For photos of the exterior, computer generated images of the proposed interior restoration, or to arrange photographic opportunities contact:

Jenny May, Heritage Planner, Christchurch City Council

phone (03) 371-1518

For further information on registrations of interest contact:

Wilson Penman, CB Richard Ellis

phone (03) 374-9889


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