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Friday, April 22, 2011

A very changed city

Today was a fine day and we had to go to Linwood to pick something up from Thomas' parents place, on the way back we decided to park the car and go have a look at the part of town on the east side next to the cordoned area.   This was a day I really regretted not having a good DSLR camera, but I did the best I could with the little point and shoot that I have.   Most of the shots I took have some personal significance to me, though there are a couple that don't.   I'll be posting photo's and then a quick note on what the building is if I know and what the significance is if any.

Both these photo's are of an old house I used to drive past all the time on Barbadoes St, it's a 2-storey brick house with a lovely balcony.  Always a little sad looking, like it needed some TLC, but still charming in its own way.  It now has its very own cordon, part of the back wall has fallen out already and some of the right front as well.  Considering the original state of it I can't see this one being repaired; I suspect the owner will take the insurance money and flatten it.

Most people will know this one from the news, this was the CTV building, or what's left of it.  Although of no personal significance in that I was lucky enough to not know anyone who died in there personally, I know many people who knew people in there.   I used to walk past it whenever I went to the gym, and it just looks wrong with the building gone.   Such a sad place, I hope they put something suitable there for remembrance, we'll just have to wait and see.

I'm pretty sure this house belonged to the aunt of a work friend back when I worked in 128, unfortunately that friend passed on some years back, and if her aunt is still around she won't be moving back here.  This lovely building despite obviously being taken care of is red stickered.  There's some fairly major cracking on the upright to the right of the main window.

Hereford House, once again no personal significance, just a lovely house which I think may have been a church residence at one point.  I hope they can save it, but not too optimistic.  The next building down was also yellow stickered, I think St John were in there at one point.   The next building down again:
This beautiful church which I used to walk past and admire; it's a mess now, but more upright than many of our old churches.  We passed one that I took a photo of that I'm not posting here simply because you'd never even know it was there; only the foundation remains and that shows no hint of the magnificent building that was once there.  I really hope that there is some way to save these, they are very much a part of our heritage, but there will be a huge amount of money required to fix this, I would expect that it needs deconstruction and then rebuilding from scratch with earthquake protection built into the structure; not too many churches will be insured to that point unfortunately.

Beaufort house, this used to be Dorothy's restaurant.  Thomas and I went there a couple of times pre-children and the food was divine.  The proprieters were a gay couple who unfortunately occasionally let their relationship squabbles spill over into the dining room.  I don't know who owns it now, but I think it might have been an upmarket B&B.  This is another I really hope they can save, going by the sign it certainly looks like they're going to try which is encouraging.

That pile of rubble behind the digger?  That was Avonmore House which was an English Language school and a restaurant.  It was being used as an indicator building to see how bad aftershocks were affecting the old masonry buildings.  Obviously it got too dangerous.  It was also a lovely building, no more.

You've probably seen this one in newspapers, a good gaming friend of ours used to live in the top left front bedsit in here.  The place was a bit of a hole (you didn't want to use the bathroom if you know what I mean), however the house next door was the same style but was done up and looked magnificent.   If someone had done that to this old lady who knows what difference it would have made.  The friend who lived here unfortunately passed away some years back as well, he would have hated seeing this place in this condition.  Most of the houses with this sort of damage were brick, this one is timber so is all the more shocking for it as most timber buildings coped reasonably well.  The one timber building I'm aware of that did worse was the old club building on Latimer Square; I couldn't get a good photo of that with my camera though.  It collapsed completely, luckily it was empty at the time as they were getting ready to work on it.

The Harcourts building, the top floor is a mess, don't know if it'll be saved or not, no great loss and it did it's job; everyone got out.

These two houses belong to the mother of a friend, she was very lucky, the top picture of the big hole?   That used to be the header tank, she had been in the kitchen and had just left when it came through the roof and took out the area she had been in.   She's been very lucky, her home should be repairable, and she's been able to move her stuff out in the meantime.  The centre spine of the building is a brick firewall, apparently it's dropped quite a bit.  The building that was the same next to it has been demolished.  I've been in the house in better times, it is absolutely gorgeous and I really hope it can be rescued.

Even amongst all this destruction there is still fun and beauty.  Autumn is here and the trees are lovely and all those leaves make for fun for small boys, George and Ian had great fun kicking through the leaves!

This empty lot used to be Piko Wholefoods; they will rebuild, but it won't be the same.  This was a wonderful wee store, not related to Wholefoods in the US.  They sold organic and GF foods as well as other stuff like the wonderful parchment paper we used for baking.  Not sure when I'll be able to get that again.

On the left is the city firestation.  The main building is ok, but many others were yellow stickered so they've moved all the stuff from those buildings into the one that would normally have the engines in it.  The engines have now been moved into this plastic shelter which has the advantage that the engines can't get trapped if another aftershock should damage their building.  A very sensible thing IMO.

Probably not a lot to say after all that except that things will get better, Christchurch will rise from the rubble and we will be stronger, though that would be much easier if all these aftershocks would stop!

Going to get back to spinning now, currently working on some batts that I made last night.  Will post photo's once it's finished.


Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

Thank you for sharing these photos and how they relate to you personally. I've been sharing stories and photos of Christchurch on my blog during my Quilts For Christchurch drive - and each photo and each story brings tears to my eyes.
Kia Kaha Christchurch xxx
With LOTS of love from Auckland xxx

Catherine said... Best Blogger Tips

Hi Rachelle
I've used two of your photos from this post and linked back to you on my blog.
Thank you for stopping by.
Cat xxx

Deb said... Best Blogger Tips

It such a beautiful weekend here isn't it, it makes looking at these sights so much more depressing really. Still I have hope that we will rebuild. Spring will come ;)

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

OMG so hard to believe

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