Spanish-mission-style Euphrasie House goes but chapel remains

The long running battle to save the 1936 Spanish-mission-style convent and hostel Euphrasie House has has come to an end. The building could be demolished by the end of the year.

However, an adjoining building, St Mary’s Chapel, will be preserved and strengthen.

The chapel was built for the Sisters of Our Lady of the Missions, a congregation of mission and teaching nuns. The sisters lived in Euphrasie House.

With a budget of $1 million, the conservation comprises two stages.

First Stage

The first stages will cost $6000.00. It will by funded by donations:

  • The corridor connecting the chapel to Euphrasie House will be demolished
  • The chapel earthquake strengthened
  • External architectural work will be carried out
  • A new electrical power supply installed.
  • The statues in the chapel will be restored

Second Stage

The remaining $400,000 is dependent on ongoing fund-raising, with a suggested time frame for stage two to begin in October and completed by December 2016.

So far the corridor link has been disconnected and excavation work is completed.

Construction of new concrete foundations have begun and the outer skin of existing brick-wall panels has been removed, ready for new reinforced concrete wall panels.

Sister Mary-Ellen O’Sullivan, Sister Barbara Cameron, Sister Colleen Morey and Sister Raewyn Hogan all still live nearby and have fond memories of the chapel.

They are all glad to see the chapel restored.

“Especially for the purpose for which they are going to renovate it: to keep it traditional but to give people a contemplative space in the city,” Sister Barbara said.


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News category: New Zealand.

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