New lamp beams Mountaineer into 21st Century

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A Victorian-style coach lamp built by a Queenstown craftsman is set to bring old and new together at the tourism town’s newly-renovated Mountaineer building.
The 2.13m-high coach lamp was constructed by David Watts of Springbank General Metalwork, with the design based on photographs of the Victorian lamp that graced the original building in the 1880s.

“The lamp took seven weeks to make,” he says. “It was constructed using the same techniques that would have been used on the original Victorian lamps, including lead and silver soldering.”

The four-storey Mountaineer building in the heart of Queenstown has undergone an extensive two-year renovation, including restoration of an original historic facade on Rees and Beach Streets.

The lamp was eased into place recently in its original location on the corner of Rees and Beach streets, casting its welcoming beam over the building.
The new lamp forms part of the conservation plan which owners Westwood Group Holdings Ltd followed during planning and construction.

Old features were maintained as much as possible, alongside more modern areas of the building such as the entranceway, a 12m-high atrium with double-glazed doors, a curving staircase, large fireplace and an opening glass skylight.

The distinctive original first-floor window frames were maintained, along with some original stone walls, combined with new glass canopy and large ground-floor windows to allow for natural light.

Mr Watts says he was delighted to have worked on such a distinctive feature for the Mountaineer. “Work like this is the icing on the cake for tradesmen.”
Mr Watts also constructed the lamp outside Eichardt’s, Queenstown’s oldest standing building.

“On a personal note, I feel both these projects highlight the need to preserve the facades of our historical buildings,” he says.
With two new floors in the upper level and a new basement for two ground-floor retailers, the newly-renovated Mountaineer building is home to a wide range of retailers, from fashion and outdoor clothing, through to jewellery, food and flowers.