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Stonemason Mark Whyte puts sculpting commissions aside in order to respond to the Christchurch earthquakes and save classic street facades from the 1870s. A close look at the processes and safeguards involved in strengthening and maintaining a classic street facade from the 1870’s makes the outlook for Christchurch and its remaining heritage buildings seem less bleak.

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Mark Whyte

Spectrum climbs the scaffolding of a large classical stone facade at 225 High Street, home to Galaxy records and NZ Work and Income. Recently restored by Mark, it survived the quakes and is undergoing a relatively superficial tidy up.

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From Left. Bob, Suzie and Rob, 3 generations of the Ayres family, with Mark Whyte 2nd from right.

Across the Red Zone and 3 generations of the Ayres family- Bob, Rob and Suzie are at work on the Heritage Hotel which also survived, thanks to recent strengthening. Granddaughter Suzie has 2 sons and is determined that they’ll continue the family business into the fourth generation.

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