Saturday, July 12, 2008

Christchurch - Past & Present #1

Christchurch, on the east coast of the South Island, is this blogger's original home town. It has often been described as "The Garden City" and used to be referred to as the most English of cities outside England but that has been changing in recent decades.

These past & present views are of Worcester Street looking east from the bridge over the River Avon towards Cathedral Square where the English Gothic architecture of the cathedral helps explain the most English of English label. Rather ironically the older postcard view circa 1910 shows no tram lines (perhaps the photo was taken before the advent of trams in Chch) while the present (2007) view incorporates the very touristy tram that runs a circuit around the inner city.

To the left just over the bridge, lies the former Christchurch City Council chambers (1887-1924) which are now known as Our City O-tautahi. The Christchurch City Libraries website states that architect Samuel Hurst Seager introduced to Christchurch the eclectic blending of Gothic, Elizabethan and Dutch motifs. On the right far corner is the Clarendon Hotel. By 2007 only the facade has been preserved, as many older buildings failed to meet earthquake standards, with a new building erected inside the outer walls.

To the west on Worcester street, i.e. behind the photographer, lies the Canterbury Museum at the western head of the street on the edge of Hagley Park & the Botanical Gardens. It may be to these perennially popular places that the mother in the older view is taking her children.

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