Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cathedral Sq. Walkway

This weekend, the officials finally opened up a walkway for us to walk around the heart of the CBD - down Columbo St to Cathedral Square, and stand in front of the damaged cathedral (or as The Wizard called it, "auld stumpy")...

Of course, the usual disclaimers about "danger", "distress", and limited access (300 people at a time, for 1 hour max) applied, but that didn't stop the crowds of people who showed up for the blink of an eyelid.

"Overview" of the Walk
 Cashel St Mall - People queue to get in through a manned gateway
Excavators and cranes galore sit idly, claws of death plunged into the ground as if they too were exhausted by the past week's work...
Lonely sculpture standing beside what used to be the original Hanafins store - a three storey, elegant old store (with Victorian style black canopies), similar to the ANZ Bank Chambers building that collapsed on the corner of Lichfield and High Streets (this one here is on the corner of Hereford and High).
On the surface of things, this side looks alright, if you disregard the broken windows, missing crosses, and a cone sitting on the ground!
 The Chalice and soon to be demolished BNZ building in the background. I never thought I'd say this, but actually, the Chalice looks quite nice, considering that it appears to be the only thing that's been untouched in this whole wasteland.
The Cathedral, or what's left of it, from the viewing area in front of it
Heaps of people out and about taking a look, many with cameras about too.

Some buildings on Colombo St
Despite being the kind of "take out" dining, it's still very much a dine-in experience at the Golden Arches, while next door, the roof has collapsed.
(Check out this shot in full res) - Pot plants tipped where they fell. Also note how battered the tiles beside the building have become. It kindof puts into perspective why houses around here used to be built with flower beds surrounding the foundations, instead of having concrete flush up to house.
Speaking of takeouts' and ground damage, check out the KFC building across the road. Apparently this building's going to come down. Perhaps it is a bit shabby, though it was also quite an iconic part of the city. Also, check out some of that gutter damage, where the tiles have just been pushed up, segments of the curb split and shoved up and down, and some of the drain covers sinking into the ground. Gee... it's actually worse than we thought it was in here...

Looming giants that will soon be no more
 Hotel Grand Chancellor - the roof and a few storeys have come off already. Just concrete remains
BNZ Bank building on the corner of Cathedral Square. From the outside it doesn't look like it's that badly hit, though it's probably quite battered.
An example of one of the ugly blobs that (thankfully) is going to be demolished. The one beside it, looking much nicer, has already gone, while this one stands, windows periodically banging loudly, giving bystanders a bit of a spook in the process.

Cathedral Square Sights
Views from behind the wires
On a lean...

A random basket of stones. Perhaps left behind by one or other of the campaigns about water usage rights or something like that.

Back to the main attraction...
It was interesting watching the "Red-Zone Bus Tours" passing through even closer to the Cathedral. While there, I saw a few such busses passing through. They seemed to be leaving each 15 minutes!
Some detail shots of the cathedral. Until now, I never truly appreciated the detail present in this building. Sadly, I never got to take detailed shots of it while it was all in one piece.

Moving on to another resident of the square: the old post office building.

The clock tower, with the city's official coat of arms (IIRC it looks like this, though I might've mistaken it for the NZ one)
An interesting sight: weeds growing in regular patterns just beside buildings such as the post office and the cathedral. I suspect it might've had something to do with some potential liquefaction issues under the surface here, since apparently grass and moss has been growing in some written off East-side houses.


  1. What´s the name of that cathedral? really liked the style, sad thing it was very badly damaged...will they rebuild it?

  2. Amazing how simple it can be to communicate with people and have them understand a certain topic,you made my day.

    Gaveet construction