Monday, 29 April 2013

Impressions of Christchurch

There are signs of earthquake damage all over the city: houses with patches of board nailed onto them, areas fenced off to prevent access, cracks and gaping holes in pavements and roads, brick walls propped up with scaffolding, not to mention spires beside steeples and of course, road works everywhere.

Christchurch feels more like Europe somehow, the trees and flowers are more familiar, less exotic than Auckland. It’s definitely colder down here with a chill southerly breeze coming from the Antarctic, and definitely Autumnal. Our first Autumn in two years. The city is very flat with the Port Hills to the south and the Banks Peninsular to the south east, yet to be explored.
Maque Cottage, home for 4 weeks after a week in the motel. Looks cute homestead from the outside, but inside it’s all modern with designer clean lines. Not very  easy to live in but it’s only for 4 weeks
The first of many fallen steeples. All that remains of the church itself is a pile of rubble, slowly being taken over by weeds
185 white chairs. An art installation on the site of another quake-destroyed church, poignantly commemorates the 185 lives that were lost in the 11 Feb 2011 quake

The Pallet Pavilion on Durham St. has been kitted out as a venue and cafe bar. Christchurch youth are very good at this sort of thing, putting life back into the ruined city
This fallen turret is right opposite the entrance to the Botanical Gardens and Museum. I think they’re going to pop it back onto the building eventually. Of course it’s not fallen but removed because it was unsafe
The Cardboard Cathedral is going up pretty fast. A temporary solution till they work out what to do with the ruins of the original. It’s made out of cardboard tubing and being constructed on the site of the CTV building, where many people lost their lives
New Regent St nearing completion. A pleasant shopping street in Spanish Missionary style, it was damaged in the quakes but is now open again for business. The tall building at the end however is being demolished this week
The facade of this red brick neo-classical style building is being held in place by ship containers. The rest of the building didn’t survive but they obviously have plans for the front of it. It's amazing the different uses that have been found in this enterprising city for ship containers

The Anglican Cathedral, the fate of which is still being hotly debated. It's right in the hearrtof the city and this is as close as you can get to it
This is what many of our roads look like now in the city centre. Building works, road closures, and traffic cones everywhere
The Thai takeaway container down the bottom of our street. Many enterprising restaurant owners found an alternative way to set up shop after their premises were destroyed
St Mary’s church in Merivale, with steeple tied down as if to prevent it from taking off like a rocket
Some parts of the city look normal. Here the Avon River as it flows through the centre of Christchurch on a lovely Autumn day with just a hint of devastation on the building in the background. You can go punting on this river too
Caring graffiti on the side of a ruined church

No comments:

Post a Comment