Report - - The Peterborough Centre, Christchurch - February 2015 | European and International Sites | 28DaysLater.co.uk
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Report - The Peterborough Centre, Christchurch - February 2015


Is this the future?
Regular User
The Peterborough Centre (also known as Christchurch Teachers College) was designed by George Penlington and is now a category II Gothic Revival style heritage building. Construction began in 1929 and it was fully completed in 1930, to service as a new teachers’ college training site in place of an older complex. Prior to its construction, since 1877, trainee teachers had received their training at Christchurch Normal School, later known as Cranmer Court. The underlying aim at the new centre was to position trainees in a ‘normal’ teaching environment, so they were able to observe their more experienced peers deliver a range of different lessons. A number of noteworthy New Zealanders were trained at the Peterborough Centre, including former Prime Ministers Bill Rowling and Jenny Shipley, and artists Grahame Sydney and Rata Lovell-Smith. The building was redeveloped in the late 1990’s into apartments, and an underground car park was included as part of the renovations.

In February 2011, the Peterborough Centre suffered extensive damage, with repairs estimated to cost around $12 million. Even with this estimated repair cost, it is likely to cost far more since the building sits in the red zone, owing to the liquefaction of the ground that occurred in the area. Despite the estimate, and although it has remained damaged and relatively untouched since the earthquakes, it is rumoured that the heritage building will eventually be preserved.

After spending a day in Christchurch, trawling endlessly through various ‘earthquaked’ sites, we stumbled across the Peterborough Centre. It’s a gloomy gothic looking thing, so it immediately caught our attention. Upon first examination, however, as we looked for a suitable way inside, it appeared as though it was heavily protected. There was a large amount of razor wire positioned on top of some of the fencing (the expensive stuff), evidence of alarms and even more wire had been used to ensure that every possible gap in the fence was also secure. The other side of the site is positioned against a main road, and since it was rush hour, the situation seemed bleak. Nevertheless, as it happens we soon found a way inside. But, having expected to find dusty chandeliers, large oak tables and ancient books, I was incredibly disappointed to discover that the building has been developed into modern-styled apartments. Consequently, most of the rooms were, as you might expect, boring… The main building was perhaps the most interesting part as it still retains the original features which were constructed in 1930. Likewise, parts of the rooms in this section of the building were very original. Aside from that it was largely an uneventful explore. We took plenty of pictures, stared in awe at some of the damage, trod carefully over questionable floorboards (they made very odd sounds and felt like they were moving… Quite considerably I’d say) and, finally, decided where to get some food. Your choices for food in Christchurch seem somewhat limited mind, because there are more abandoned restaurants and cafes than there are lives ones, so this didn’t take all that long at all.

Explored with Urbex Central NZ.

1: The Peterborough Centre Main Entrance


2: The Rear Entrance


3: One of the Standard Apartments


4: Kitchen of an Apartment


5: The Private Gardens


6: Christchurch Teachers Training College Plaque


7: The Main Staircase (Halfway Up)


8: The Cracked Stained Glass Window


9: A Close Up of The Crack


10: One of the Grand Apartments


11: The Main Staircase (From the Top)


12: One of the Main Corridors


13: Main Hall Ceiling


14: The Creaky Corridor


15: Kitchen Supplies


16: Empty Living Room


17: Second Rear Staircase


18: Leftover Artwork


19: Ceiling Damage


20: The Main Staircase (From the bottom)


21: Comfortable Sofa


22: One of the Original Doors (From the college days)


23: Main Entrance Hall


24: Main Entrance Hall


25: Communal Garden


26: Old Balcony Seating


27: The Peterborough Centre External Shot

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28DL Regular User
Regular User
Nice report mate :thumb

Looks a lovely building from the outside. Such a shame when they modernise these places on the inside and lose alot of their original character.

Was their anything interesting behind the bookshelf door (love those) on the right of your third pic or was that just the entrance door to the apartment?


Is this the future?
Regular User
Nice report mate :thumb

Looks a lovely building from the outside. Such a shame when they modernise these places on the inside and lose alot of their original character.

Was their anything interesting behind the bookshelf door (love those) on the right of your third pic or was that just the entrance door to the apartment?
Thanks mate :thumb Yeah, I was hoping for a lot more given how awesome it looked on the outside. It still had some interesting features inside mind. That was a quirky little feature in there. It was a room under the stairs. The whole building was full of these little odd hidden rooms which was quite cool.

The Stig

Urbex = Nosey Bastard
Regular User
That is rather nice indeed :thumbs, might have to put it on my "todo" list now :)

Thanks for sharing fella :)