Auckland's Birdcage makes way for tunnel

  • 31/08/2010

By Bob McNeil

An Auckland landmark was on the move today, but it was a bit like watching slow grass grow.

The old Birdcage pub, a watering hole for almost one-and-a-quarter centuries, was being shifted to make way for the motorway tunnel project.

But, unless you had time to kill, you’d never have noticed it moving.

Watch a time lapse video of the Birdcage's journey

The building is placed on Teflon jacks and moved 1.8 metres at a time. The jacks are then repositioned, and the moving starts again.

Auckland hasn’t always had a good reputation for looking after its buildings, but that’s changing.

“It’s nice to see Auckland showing some love for some really special buildings and to do something for the future, it’s a long term view for the city, not just short term,” says architect Richard Reid.

The pub became a public spectacle and everyone was keen to express an opinion.

“We’ve had hundreds of people coming past and an awful lot of interest,” says NZTA spokesman Tommy Parker.

“Lots of people think it should be moved to another part of the region. A lot of people have told us we’re doing it wrong and there’s a better way to do it and a lot of people think we’re mad.”

The first proprietor of the Rob Roy Hotel was a man named William Regan, a tea-totaller who never drank at all.

Regardless, the speed the pub is moving at, it could be a long time between drinks before the old pub can start pumping once again.

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source: newshub archive