Ed’s wonder wall

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Local architect Ed Elliott shows off wallpaper from the late 1800s, discovered while renovating historic buildings in Arrowtown’s Buckingham Street. 

The surprise find came when Elliott and Queenstown developer/owner Chris James were preparing a conservation plan for the property, which houses retail shop Dreamz. 

Plans to knock down walls were scrapped when the heritage wallpaper was first unearthed 18 months ago and it has now been carefully restored – with help via a $3000 grant from Queenstown Lakes District Council. 

“We found the paper under very many layers of material including concrete blocks and solid plaster that were covering up old walls in an area of what used to be a burger bar,” Elliott says. 

After being examined by experts from Christchurch’s Canterbury Museum, it was decided to keep the original structures in place and the paper has been preserved under a special protective layer. 

“We wanted to keep the wallpaper intact for future generations to enjoy and it is still on two of the walls inside Dreamz,” Elliott adds. 

“There are also samples cased in special glass at the shop now for people to look at.”