Thursday, July 21, 2011

Colombo St Demolitions, Sydenham

Thurs 21.07.11. While Leah shopped for plastic goods at Payless, I late afternoon wandered down Colombo St, Sydenham, from Brougham St to Sandyford St crossings. I'd regularly driven down Colombo St, Sydenham, post 2010-2011 quakes & seen traffic obstructing fence cordons gradually disappear. It was time to coolpix post quake demolition sites.

Post 4 Sept, 7.1 magnitude quake, I'd wandered the state of emergency fence cordon down Colombo St & coolpixed quake broken, old, brick bldgs. The fence cordon then was check-pointed at Elgin St & Carlyle St crossings by cops & NZDF soldiers. Some quake trashed bldgs were demolished fairly quickly. Some stood empty death traps for months, with rubble blocking pavements & fence cordons blocking traffic.

Post deadly 22 Feb, magnitude 6.3 quake, I wandered parallel Buchan St & Durham St South to see national state of emergency fence cordons strangling Colombo St, Sydenham. The fence cordon was check-pointed at crossings by few cops & more NZDF soldiers, all the way from Brougham St to Carlyle St crossings.

At that late Feb time, many Colombo St bldgs needed to be demolished still. Pity they weren't demolished post Sept 4 quake, as someone was killed at Tasty Tucker Bakery, Colombo St, by the Feb 22 quake. Post Feb 22 quake, which killed 185 people, Colombo St, Sydenham bldg demolitions speeded up.

Cnr Brougham St / Colombo St: On one cnr, old, brick, Blue Jean Cuisine Restaurant & Bar, wood & metal braced & fence cordoned, still stood in dire need of demolition. The back was quake trashed, brick rubble lay behind a fence cordon, a back wall yellow & red plastic tarped. The bldg was later demolished.

36 images, Colombo St:

21.07.11. Quake damaged Blue Jean Cuisine, cnr Colombo St / Brougham St, Sydenham. The bldg was demolished

Sydenham Heritage Church on the opp cnr: A stone rubble heap, fence cordoned, business signs on the fence. The old, stone church was damaged by the Sept 4 quake. Owners of the Heritage site accused Council of giving Civil Defence permission to demolish soon post Feb 22 quake, during the national state of emergency. The derelict bldg had stood empty for years, an eyesore on busy Brougham St & a death trap.

A sign on the rubble heap read:

Property of

Dec 2015. The weedy rubble heap was still there.

21.07.11. Quake damaged & demolished Sydenham Heritage Church, cnr Brougham St / Colombo St, Sydenham

Cnr Colombo St / Elgin St: WINZ bldg closed. A close look showed crumbled concrete pillar bases, Colombo St main entrance & cracked cnrs on upper concrete floors. It was an ugly, concrete & glass bldg, like a pile of dirty plates. Stalinist architecture.

21.07.11. Quake damaged WINZ bldg, cnr Elgin St / Colombo St, Sydenham

A sign on the WINZ office door read:

Work and Income

A service of the Ministry of Social Development

Following the 22 February 2011 Christchurch earthquake
this office is now closed until further notice

If you require help from Work and Income phone...

You can also get assistance at the following Service Centres open during normal office hours:

* Hornby Service Centre...
* Rangiora Service Centre...
* Riccarton Service Centre...
* Kaiapoi Community Link...
* Shirley Service Centre...
* Linwood Community Link...
* New Brighton Service Centre...
* Ashburton Community Link...

We had bad, pre quakes memories of Sydenham WINZ - our letters ignored, useless case managers, extremely slow service, stand over tactics by a manager. I could continue for many paragraphs... Christchurch citizens were finding other govt depts, EQC & CERA even worse. Their ineptitude made WINZ look saintly during quake times.

Across Colombo St, opp WINZ offices were big, empty, fence cordoned, demolition sites, a white shipping container in the middle by Colombo St pavement. An Indian dairy shopkeeper traded from the shipping container.

21.07.11. Colombo St, Sydenham demolition site & dairy in a shipping container

Post quakes, shanty shops like that mushroomed all over Christchurch on demolition sites. Others I'd seen: cnr Bealey Ave / Papanui Rd, on old Carlton Hotel demolition site, a mobile pub on a trailer; cnr Rossall St / Holmwood Rd, a porta-cabin cafe on a demolition site...

Cnr Colombo St / Wordsworth St: Empty, fence cordoned, demolition site where heritage brick, Ascot TV was trashed by the Sept 4 quake.

I wandered Wordsworth St to look at old, brick Crown Masonic Centre, trashed by the Feb 22 quake, brick wall peeled off, halls & roof spaces exposed. Delayed demolition, the June 13 quake collapsed the roof more. Four, orange, Hi Vis vested workmen stood around, on the pavement, while Crown Masonic Centre was demolished. Post quakes, I saw many Hi Vis vested workmen standing around at road repairs, demolitions, bldg repairs & rebuilds. Their finest hour.

21.07.11. Post quakes demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Wordsworth St, Sydenham

21.07.11. Post quakes Ascot TV demolition site, cnr Wordsworh St / Colombo St, Sydenham. WINZ bldg behind

21.07.11.  Four, orange, Hi Vis vested workmen "supervising" post quake demolition in progress, Crown Masonic Centre, Wordsworth St, Sydenham

21.07.11. Playground view of quakes collapsed Crown Masonic Centre, cnr Buchan St / Wordsworth St, Sydenham. Crown Masonic Centre was demolished

Colombo St: Demolition in progress, a white digger worked on top of a pile of fence cordoned rubble, while 2 orange, Hi Vis vested workmen fiddled with a red pipe sticking out of rubble, spouting water.

21.07.11. Colombo St, Sydenham view of post quakes demolition site. Buchan St car park beyond

21.07.11. Colombo St, Sydenham post quakes demolition in progress

21.07.11. Quake damaged, boarded, fence cordoned shops, Colombo St, Sydenham

Cnr Colombo St / Battersea St: empty, fence cordoned, demolition site, where Sept 4 quake trashed, old, brick Churchills Tavern once stood. Nearby, Bali Hai Imports Ltd & further down Colombo St, Penny Lane business, were once in old, brick, Sept 4 quake trashed bldgs - gone, demolished.

21.07.11. Churchills Tavern, post Feb 22 quake demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Battersea St, Sydenham. Churchills Tavern was 04.09.10 quake trashed

Cnr Colombo St / Sandyford St: Empty, fence cordoned, demolition site, moss growing on liquefaction mud volcanoes, where Sept 4 quake trashed, old, brick Angus Donaldson bldg once stood.

21.07.11. Angus Donaldson, post Feb 22 quake demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Sandyford St, Sydenham. Angus Donaldson was 04.09.10 quake trashed

Diagonally opp, cnr Colombo St / Byron St: Big, empty, demolition site where Sept 4 quake trashed, old, brick Rob Roys once stood. Neighbouring Kaleidoscopes & Monumental Masons, old brick, Sept 4 quake trashed bldgs were demolished, other businesses gone too.

21.07.11. Post quakes demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Byron St, Sydenham

21.07.11. Rob Roys, post Feb 22 quake demolition site, cnr Colombo St / Byron St. Rob Roys, Kaleidoscopes, Monumental Masons, other Colombo St businesses were 04.09.10 quake trashed

Demolitions let light into darkness, where once tatty, old, brick Colombo St bldgs stood. After 10 months of quakes it was the busiest I'd seen Colombo St, Sydenham - traffic flowed & some shops were open, despite demolitions.

Demolitions also exposed fresh walls for taggers, especially tilt slab, concrete walls, already with new tagging on Colombo St demolition sites. Authorities would try & quell taggers by allowing "art" on bare concrete, tilt slab walls. Over the next few years tagging would compete with "art" on newly exposed walls all over Christchurch.

Fri 22.07.11. Woken up by a rumbling 5.1 mag quake, 40 km west of Christchurch, 12 km depth, 5.39 am (GeoNet).

There was anti-Semitic reporting by media, slagging off 3 Israelis who'd died in the Feb 22 quake. TV & The Weekend Press, July 23-24, 2011 reported that one of the Israelis had more than one passport (so what?) & that the surviving 3 Israelis had quickly left NZ after the Feb 22 quake & that Security Intelligence Service, SIS was investigating those Israelis as spies.

It reminded me of hysterical, erroneous reporting for several days post Feb 22 quake, of 20 people dying in Christchurch Cathedral during the quake. It reminded me of North Island Maori camping in the bush years back, accused of being terrorists by numbskull cops.

On the afternoon of the Feb 22 quake, I coolpixed foreign backpackers, like Israelis, & more upmarket tourists with suitcases skedaddling Bealey Ave / Madras St crossing, out of the quake ravaged CBD, fleeing Christchurch after the quake. They all fled on foot. They made way for scavengers arriving to take up quake limited accommodation in Christchurch, like Aussie cops, foreign military, foreign USAR / TF teams, contractors from all over NZ.

That deadly, chaotic afternoon, I watched groups of Kiwi workers flee the CBD, on foot too, while liquefaction water & mud oozed on pavements & roadsides & by bldgs. Their cars were trapped in the CBD. I watched them walk out of the CBD on Bealey Ave & Fitzgerald Ave. Traffic was gridlocked on Bealey Ave, while aftershocks jolted all afternoon, with traffic lights not working & Civil Defence & cops directing traffic. The grey air was suffused with a burning smell, from the burning CTV bldg.

For days afterwards near Christchurch airport, I experienced Greers Rd gridlocked by Burnside HS near our home, due to hordes of foreigners fleeing Christchurch. During the post quake, national state of emergency, Civil Defence designated Burnside HS an Evacuation Centre for tourists leaving Christchurch asap, so there was nothing unusual about 3 Israeli backpackers leaving asap. In their dreadful position I would've fled too.

Funny how media had amnesia in quest of nonsense. SIS should investigate Leah & me & many Kiwis, who'd volunteered on Israeli kibbutzim & moshavs over decades past, as Mossad moles.

*Wandered Colombo St.

Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

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