Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Christchurch - Past & Present #5 The Square Post Office

Views looking west across Cathedral Square, Christchurch, to the General Post Office. (Click on pictures for larger views).

The Post Office in 1906 (top) and a few years later in the 1910s (bottom). Note the steam tram in 1906 has given way to electric trams in the second view.

Built in the 1870s, in an Italian/Venetian Gothic style, the GPO housed not only the post office but other government departments when it opened in 1879. It later housed New Zealand's first telephone exchange. It now serves as the tourist Information and Visitor Centre.

The post office in a paved pedestrian mall Square in 2007. Starbucks has moved, where else, into the corner spot of the post office while Telecom NZ looms large over the old post office.

The modern monstrosity, lacking all grace and charm, dwarfing the old post office is the Telecom New Zealand building, a typical example of contemporary New Zealand corporate architecture when bottom lines trump aesthetics.

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