Sunday, June 2, 2013

Queen's Birthday: Post Quake Victoria St & Victoria Square

Queens Birthday, Mon 03.06.13, a cold, wet, gloomy day. 18 years ago, we'd arrived in Christchurch, after a long SA & overseas journey with our 2 young sons, also on a cold, wet, gloomy day. We reckoned if we could survive one Christchurch winter we'd survive NZ. Leah liked the idea of being in the dry rain-shadow of the Southern Alps (winters cold, wet, gloomy, like Cape Town) as it would remind us of our lives in dry, sunny SA. Like our home town Durban, where we'd lived in the rain- shadow of the Drakensberg & like the hot, dry berg winds, Christchurch had hot, dry nor'westers, ideal for making biltong.

NZ was the Last Outpost of the British Empire with anachronistic rituals like a Governor General, a recycled sycophant, who annually tapped mad butchers, ABs captains, rugby coaches, venal investment lawyers & the like on their shoulders with a sword, making them Sirs & Dames, for Kiwi peasants to worship. SA stopped that nonsense in 1961 when it became a republic.

Wed 05.06.13. 1 000+ days post 04.09.10 quake, I wandered down Victoria St to Victoria Sq to see the transformation from a Victorian planned street to a quake destroyed & partly transformed street & square.

Victoria St between Bealey Ave crossing & Salisbury St crossing was buzzing: lots of open shops, some still closed, several construction sites, repair sites & demolition sites. Some demolition sites were converted to car parks, some were for sale or lease. The closer I got to open Christchurch Casino the more Victoria St shops were closed.

There were more construction sites (4) along Victoria St from Bealey Ave crossing to Peterborough St crossing than the whole of CERA occupied, red zone, cordoned CBD (3). So much for CERA's ramping up rebuild.

The reason why Victoria St was booming was because it was the main street amidst flats & houses. Red zone, cordoned CBD flats & houses were either flattened by quakes or demolished in the CERA disaster, like Poplar St flats, with no sign by CERA they would be rebuilt. All that CERA did regarding CBD housing rebuild was a CCDU planned international competition for high density housing off Madras St by Latimer Sq.

So far, CERA & CCDU hadn't got it that housing amongst businesses was needed for the CBD to thrive. Not just hotels for tourists, in the red zone, cordoned CBD, where there were too many expensive anchor projects, like Convention Centre, Performing Arts Precinct, new Central Library, Maori Cultural Centre, Justice & Emergency Services Precinct.

Mon 10.06.13. The Press reported CERA would develop housing on its acquired Frame land. Why hadn't architects thought of that a year ago when planning the CCDU Blueprint?

One News 10.06.13: CERA minister Brownlee announced that 20 govt agencies would move back to the CBD in 2015 with 2 500 staff who'd work in National's utopia. Never mind National's land grab in the CBD Frame. (Fat hope. By June 2015 there were no such 20 govt agencies in the CBD, as few Blueprint Anchor Projects had been built, like Justice & Emergency Services Precinct...)

Govt stooge, Townsend, Christchurch Employers' Chamber of Commerce boss replied: "The property developers and property owners and the people that want to come back into central city know now that the government has made this commitment and they will follow up accordingly."

Victoria St / Bealey Ave / Papanui Ave crossing: Fortress like Burger King was built on Carlton Hotel demolition site - thick concrete walls, massive steel skeleton. By Carlton Courts, abandoned shops, on the opposite side of Papanui Rd, One News had camped for a while, post 22.02.11 quake.

Images, quake damaged Papanui Rd:


03.06.13. Burger King rebuild, Carlton Hotel demolition site, cnr Bealey Ave / Papanui Rd



03.06.13. Abandoned Carlton Courts, cnr Bealey Ave / Papanui Rd

Knox Church had stood part demolished, derelict & cordon abandoned for over a year before church authorities tarted it up with boarding below wooden arches & night lights. (By the end of 2014 Knox Church was restored with copper clad exterior walls). Knox Plaza construction site was busy next door. Across the road a makeshift pub, Smash Palace traded on Saggio di vino demolition site.

Images, quake damaged Victoria St:


03.06.13. Quake trashed, boarded Knox Church, awaiting restoration, cnr Bealey Ave / Victoria St



03.06.13. Knox Plaza construction site, next to Knox Church, Victoria St



Victoria St to Montreal St crossing: Quake survivor businesses, abandoned bldgs & demolition sites, included tilt slab Carlton Butchery rebuild on a quake demolition site & quake survivor, part demolished Caxton Press, next to another construction site.


03.06.13. Carlton Butchery, Victoria St rebuild



03.06.13. Abandoned bldg, Victoria St




03.06.13. Spags open for business, Victoria St


03.06.13. Bldg repair, Victoria St


03.06.13. Open business, Victoria St



03.06.13. Quake trashed bldg, Victoria St




03.06.13. Victoria St / Salisbury St / Montreal St crossing view of quake closed CBD. Victoria St construction site right



03.06.13. Rebuild construction site next to Caxton Press, Victoria St

  


03.06.13. Quake demolition site sold, cnr Victoria St / Salisbury St


03.06.13. Gordon Smith & sons Fruiterers trading for more than a year post 22.02.11 quake, cnr Victoria St / Montreal St

Victoria St / Montreal St / Salisbury St crossing. Gordon Smith & Sons Fruiterers was open for many months, by abandoned bldgs & demolition sites converted to car parks. The Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower was being restored & when Prince Charles & Camilla visited last year they'd had a photo shoot there with mayor Parker.


03.06.13. Victoria Jubilee Clock Tower being restored, cnr Victoria St / Montreal St. Abandoned Victoria Mansions behind




 


03.06.13. For Lease demolition site, Victoria St / Salisbury St / Montreal St crossing

 

03.06.13. Open business, Victoria St

A Council sign on the clock tower cordon fence read:

Facilities Rebuild
Doing what needs to be done.

This Christchurch City Council facility is closed due to the earthquakes and is currently being repaired.

The council is striving to access and carry out work on its 1 600 buildings as quickly as possible as part of its Facilities Rebuild Plan programme...

Victoria St to Peterborough St crossing: Abandoned bldgs, like Victoria Mansions, busy shops & demolition sites. A construction site was busy, a workman in a crane box was lowered to a first floor window.


03.06.13. Rebuild construction site, Victoria St



Victoria St to Kilmore St Crossing: Quake damaged, Christchurch Casino, open after 11:00, demolition sites, abandoned bldgs & quake survivor businesses.


03.06.13. Christchurch Casino open for more than a year post 22.02.11 quake, Victoria St





03.06.13. Closed business, cnr Victoria St / Peterborough St


03.06.13. Closed businesses, Victoria St


 




Victoria St / Kilmore St crossing: Demolition sites, including no more restaurant, no more Riverlands House (fenced with a Victoria St advert on it) no more Copthorne Hotel, no more Crowne Plaza Hotel. On the latter demolition site, makeshift Pallet Pavilion traded for months.

Images, quake damaged Kilmore St:



03.06.13. Ad board, Riverlands House demolition site, cnr Victoria St / Kilmore St



03.06.13. Kilmore St demolition sites, off Victoria St


03.06.13. Copthorne Hotel demolition site, Victoria St / Kilmore St / Durham St Nth crossing. Court House left became part of relocated Science Alive, after the Justice & Emergency Services precinct was built. Spicers right awaited demolition for a new lawyers' office


03.06.13. The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth. Abandoned Town Hall left awaited restoration. Forsyth Barr right awaited restoration for Crowne Plaza Hotel



03.06.13. The Arcades & Pallet Pavilion, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth. Abandoned Town Hall left awaited restoration. Forsyth Barr middle awaited restoration for Crowne Plaza Hotel. Victoria Square apartments right awaited demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre


03.06.13. The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth. Part opened Pacific Tower (Rendezvous Hotel) left. Abandoned Forsyth Barr middle awaited restoration for Crowne Plaza Hotel

Near abandoned Town Hall, were recently constructed, relocatable Arcades, wooden arches going to Victoria Sq, the first sign of post Victorian brilliance seen in over 1 000 quake days, amongst post quake demolitions. Crowne Plaza Hotel was gone, opening up the Victorian vista to Victoria Sq again. Beyond Victoria Sq, Forsyth Barr awaited restoration for Crowne Plaza Hotel.


03.06.13. The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth & abandoned Town Hall awaiting restoration


03.06.13. The Arcades & Pallet Pavilion, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth. Abandoned Town Hall left, Forsyth Barr & Victoria Square middle. Open Court House right



03.06.13. The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth




03.06.13. The Arcades view of abandoned Town Hall left awaiting repairs, Copthorne Hotel middle awaiting demolition, Forsyth Barr right awaiting repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth

The Arcades area was still messy with foundation holes & cordon fencing, while the arches were being constructed. A digger was parked between The Arcades & Pallet Pavilion. The Arcades board stated: 

The Arcades Project

A new way to add movable infrastructure to empty sites for community events.

Ten modular units 6.3 metres high, each forming an open vault, the arcades will become a grand setting for events.

Reconfigurable & relocatable, these structures have the potential to enliven vacant sites around Christchurch for the next 25 years...


03.06.13. The Arcades, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth



NZ govt, CERA & Ngai Tahu tribe wanted to turn Crowne Plaza demolition site into a Maori Cultural Centre to welcome tourists. I couldn't think of a worse plan to stuff up that vista. During apartheid I'd lived through cultural fascism with force-fed Afrikaans & kultuur for decades. 

The Anglican's God had quake destroyed many Anglican churches, including Christchurch Cathedral, beyond Victoria Sq, aided & abetted by post quakes Civil Defence & CERA demolishers.


03.06.13. Refreshments, Pallet Pavilion, Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth


03.06.13. Kilmore St view of digger, Salvation Army demolition site, open Court House behind, Durham St Nth


03.06.13. Kilmore St view of digger, Salvation Army demolition site, abandoned Spicers behind awaiting demolition, Durham St Nth

Down Kilmore St the Convention Centre demolition site was seen. Across the road, abandoned, cordoned Town Hall awaited repairs.

Victoria Sq by the Town Hall & floral clock were still fence cordoned. Two workmen in hard hats & orange, Hi Vis vests arranged cordon fencing by the floral clock. 



03.06.13. Kids' art on cordon fence entrance to Victoria Sq, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth


03.06.13 Digger by cordon closed, abandoned Town Hall awaiting repairs, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth


03.06.13. Workmen arranging fence cordon, entrance to Victoria Park, cnr Kilmore St / Durham St Nth



03.06.13. Workmen arrangiing cordon fencing by floral clock, Victoria Sq


03.06.13. Victoria Sq workmen's view of Crowne Plaza Hotel demolition site. Pallet Pavilion left, The Arcades middle, Christchurch Casino right

Victoria Sq: Cordoned, operating Court House; abandoned Town Hall awaited repairs; cordoned, abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaited demolition; Forsyth Barr awaited repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel; The National Bank / Isaac House awaited Godot; Victoria Square flats & Craigs House awaited demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre; demolition sites like Winnie Bagoes & PWC extended along red zone Armagh St to a digger-busy demolition site by the Retour Restaurant demolition site. Craigs House was gutted before demolition. Several of its blue window panes gone, showing empty offices, bare walls & ceilings.

Images, quake damaged Victoria Sq:


03.06.13. Victoria Bridge view of Avon River & Armagh St Bridge, Victoria Sq, Victoria Bridge was repaired in 2016


03.06.13. Victoria Sq view of red zone, abandoned bldgs: Copthorne Hotel left awaited demolition. Forsyth Barr middle awaited repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel. The National Bank / Isaac House right


03.06.13. Capt James Cook statue view of Victoria Sq. Abandoned Forsyth Barr awaited repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel. The National Bank / Isaac House right


03.06.13. Avon River & abandoned Town Hall awaited repairs, Victoria Sq


03.06.13. Capt James Cook statue view of abandoned Victoria Square flats & Craigs House awaiting demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre

In the middle of Victoria Sq, Capt James Cook's white, marble statue still stood, undamaged after 13 000 quakes. Some CBD statues fell from their plinths in the 22.02.11 quake, like Antarctic explorer, Robert Falcon Scott's statue, Oxford Tce & 1850 founder of Christchurch, John Robert Godley's bronze statue, Cathedral Sq. 


03.05.13. 13 000 quakes survivor, Capt James Cook statue, Victoria Sq




03.06.13. Abandoned Copthorne Hotel awaited demolition Victoria Sq


03.06.13. Victoria Sq view, cnr Colombo St / Armagh St demolition sites, incl Winnie Bagoes & abandoned bldgs



03.06.13. Victoria Sq view of demolition sites between Cambridge Tce left & Armagh St


03.06.13. Victoria Sq view of abandoned Victoria Square flats middle & Craigs House right awaiting demolition for NZ govt's / CERA's Blueprint Convention Centre


Forsyth Barr, Colombo St / Armagh St crossing, blocked the way from Victoria Sq to Christchurch Cathedral near Colombo St / Gloucester St crossing. Forsyth Barr was abandoned for over 2 years post 22.02.11 quake, when trapped survivors had abseiled out of windows, due to quake collapsed stairs. Forsyth Barr owners wanted to repair & turn the high rise offices into Crowne Plaza Hotel. If that happened, like other surviving high rises & dangerous bldgs, I'd boycott.


03.06.13. Victoria Sq, Queen Victoria, Boer War statue view of abandoned Forsyth Barr left awaiting repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel. The National Bank / Isaac House right



03.06.13. 13 000 quakes survivor, Queen Victoria, Boer War statue, Victoria Sq


03.06.13. Victoria Sq view of red zone, abandoned Forsyth Barr left awaiting repairs for Crowne Plaza Hotel. The National Bank / Isaac House right



Bordered by Victoria Sq cordon clutter, Queen Victoria bronze statue glared at red zoned, cordoned Forsyth Barr & abandoned The National Bank / Isaac House, which blocked Victoria's scrutiny of ruined Christchurch Cathedral. On Queen Victoria's plinth, a bronze memorial plaque remembered 79 bloodthirsty, Canterbury's Sons who died in the Boer War.
 

03.06.13. Victoria Sq, Queen Victoria, Boer War statue plaque remembering 79 Canterbury's Sons who died in the Boer War


Content & pics Copyright Mark JS Esslemont.

See Hotel plan for Forsyth Barr building (The Press / Stuff Co).

1 comment:

  1. Responded to an email asking permission for use of The Arcades pics in an Australian publication.

    ReplyDelete