Canterbury Earthquake: Lincoln University’s Heritage Buildings

Ivey Hall, although not given that name officially until 1954 in honour of the first Director, was Lincoln University’s original building. Construction of the central portion (below the Bell Tower, and where the clock is now sited), commenced in 1878 and it was opened in 1880. The West Wing was built in 1881, the East Wing was built in 1918, and the Memorial Hall at the end of the West Wing was built in 1923.

Situated some 20 km south of Christchurch, Lincoln College, as it was then called, was first an agricultural college, then part of the University of New Zealand, and eventually became a university in its own right.

The central portion and the East Wing of Ivey Hall were renovated from 1986 to 1988. This included removal of all internal structures and strengthening of the exterior walls and facade. The renovated areas became the library in 1988. These renovated areas have stood the test of the 4 September 2010 earthquake and have suffered only minor damage to the facade.

The West Wing (originally a dormitory) has stood unused for many years. (I had a study there in the early 1970s, when studying for a masters degree, but this must have been one of the last times it was used). Renovation and strengthening have been planned for at least 10 years. This wing has suffered significant damage in the earthquake and its future is unclear.

The Memorial Hall has remained in use through to the present. It has suffered major earthquake damage but there is hope that it can be restored.

The photos below of inspection and initial stabilisation work were kindly taken for me today (14 September) by Lincoln University’s photographer David Hollander.

The historical information above comes from the 125th Anniversary Special Issue of the Library Newsletter.

This is the main entrance to the library. The crane is actually working behind on the hidden West Wing, and is a long way from the students out the front, with the Memorial Wing behind but apparently beneath the arm of the crane.


Memorial Hall from the northeast.


Memorial Hall from the northwest.


Inspecting the West Wing


About Keith Woodford

Keith Woodford is an independent consultant, based in New Zealand, who works internationally on agri-food systems and rural development projects. He holds honorary positions as Professor of Agri-Food Systems at Lincoln University, New Zealand, and as Senior Research Fellow at the Contemporary China Research Centre at Victoria University, Wellington.
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