Over the years the main street of Winton has accommodated many small businesses and retail outlets and has been very busy. Cash banking was once done daily and transactions done manually so many people have been over the front steps of the bank.
The bank was sold into private ownership in the 1990s and I purchased the building in 2003.
I adore vintage style and the Art Deco era and believe if you own a heritage building it is up to you to maintain and treasure it for the future.
After the Canterbury earthquakes, BNZ required all their New Zealand buildings to meet a new building standard of at least 80 percent. As part of that I was asked to get an engineer’s report done on the building.
It was a very stressful time making decisions and sourcing finance to ensure the BNZ would stay in Winton so our town wouldn’t lose a business we rely on and end up with another empty building.
It has taken six years to completely strengthen the building to the required percentage. We’ve achieved it by working with the top tradespeople, gaining consents and trying out new methods for strengthening buildings.
The bank manager’s flat upstairs has been refurbished into beautiful Art Deco-themed accommodation and was opened in 2018. The New Zealand flag flies on the flag pole with pride.
I have taken the strengthening and refurbishing on with passion. Many times I could have walked away from it all but I know now this gorgeous old building has been given a soul and will be standing gracefully on our main street for many years to come.
by Jeannie Peebles, owner.