Millions for Masonic

Masonic Hotel 2023

Cambridge’s grand old lady is to finally get an upgrade worthy of her classy status.

The Masonic Hotel, an historic Category 2 building built in 1912 after fire destroyed the previous structure, is about to undergo a $4 million makeover.

Details of the building consent have been released by Waipā District Council in response to The News’ request after emails to the owner went unanswered.

Plans drawn up by hotel designers Dalman Architects of Christchurch show it will undergo a transformation into a high-end boutique hotel with a basement bar inspired by 1920s Chicago speakeasies.

There will be two accessible bedrooms on the ground floor, an impressive lobby and staircase, conference room, lounge, function room, snug, bar and a lift lobby at the rear leading to two other levels.

The first floor will have 10 bedrooms while a second floor – named the Attic – will have 11 bedrooms, seven with dormer windows. Four bedrooms will front Duke Street.

Masonic Hotel circa 1915-1925. Credit: Price Collection, Alexander Turnbull Library.

Existing roofing and guttering will be demolished but the roof trusses and ridge beams will be used again.

The hotel’s iconic frontage will have a refreshed colour scheme, retain its classical façade and chimney, have new decorative cast iron columns with a balcony over top built to resemble the original 1912 design, 1100mm high balustrade railing and with reused ornate lace elements.

At the rear other significant changes include two new buildings – one containing the lift over three levels, staircase and a plant room and an accommodation block. A dining terrace leads out into an event lawn and landscaped grounds.

Dalman Architects took on the project after owner Gerry Westenberg secured a $300,000 government grant four years ago for seismic strengthening.

The Heritage Equip grant, part of the government’s earthquake upgrade incentive programme, had previously granted a $36,900 professional advice grant to commission a detailed structural and architectural design.

Dalman’s other recent projects include Sheraton Auckland’s Four Points, Wyndham’s Ramada in Hamilton, Novotel Lakeside in Queenstown and Hotel 4 at Auckland International Airport.






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