31 Jan 2016

Quake-damaged mansion for sale

4:47 pm on 31 January 2016

An historic Christchurch mansion, reputed to be the largest wooden residence in New Zealand, which was devastated in the 2011 earthquakes, is being sold as is where is by its owners.

McLean's Mansion

McLean's Mansion Photo: WIKIMEDIA COMMONS

McLean's Mansion was built in 1900 for wealthy Scottish immigrant Allan McLean and is listed as a Category 1 heritage building by the New Zealand Historic Places Trust (NZHPT). It was being used as classrooms before the earthquakes.

Andrew Murray and family interests have owned the Manchester Street property since 1987 and said the cost of repairing the severely damaged house is unaffordable so they want to sell the mansion, together with the substantial land it sits on and neighbouring buildings.

McLean's Mansion has been deemed to be dangerous by the Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority and independent engineers and notice has been issued that it needs to be demolished.

As well as being reputed to be the largest wooden residence in New Zealand it is the second largest wooden building in the country.

It was built in 1900 for 78-year-old bachelor Allan McLean but was used as a private home for only 13 years.

McLean was one of the major run holders and was one of the wealthiest men in Canterbury in his day.

When McLean died in 1907, the mansion was left to his housekeeper and later bought by the government and became a Dental Nurses Hostel between 1957 to 1982.

It lay largely vacant until a partnership including the Murray family bought the property in 1987.

Since that time it has been used extensively as an educational facility, specialising in supporting young people to obtain vocational qualifications and adults entering the workforce.

More than 15,000 students enjoyed the building over the 30 years it was used as a training centre.

The property is for sale by deadline private treaty closing March 17.