The dome of what was the Thomas Edmonds Band Rotunda which used to have the Retour Restaurant in it. The dome now just sits on the ground on Cambridge Terrace. I’m not sure if there are any plans to rebuild it.
This is what it used to look like https://www.christchurchdailyphoto.com/2008/04/03/edmonds-band-rotunda/
I went for a walk up the Mt Pleasant hill this afternoon and as you can see I took quite a few snaps along the way. I was only going as far as the Mt Pleasant Reserve but decided to keep going up the hill and over down into Mccormacks Bay. I followed my ‘nose’ most of the way, but then used Google directions on my phone to find a quick way down. It took me through some streets I’d never been on before. I saw a lot of damage along the way. Some homes are probably beyond repair (though in Christchurch now, you just never know – it all comes down to what the insurance company thinks is repairable).
The homes just above Mccormacks Bay are very bad – in fact I suspect there were very few people living in the houses on one of the streets I walked down.
The lines on the section in the photo above are a rough house plan. It’s located on The Brae (which looks down onto Main Street). It gave me a lot of hope when I saw the spray painted plans on the ground. Someone is moving forward – they are getting their home back.
Click on the images for a larger version of each image (about twice the size).
It’s been just over a month since I last saw the Crown Plaza Hotel. Today, as I walked up Victoria Street I let out a gasp when saw the Forsyth Barr building visible from behind the Crown Plaza Hotel. It’s just such a shocking site to see – one of our iconic buildings torn apart. It really looks like a bomb went off…
It’s quite an experience walking the full length of Victoria Street at the moment. Right at the beginning near Bealey Avenue is the wooden skeleton of Knox Church and beside that is the BDO building that’s part way demolished. On the other side opposite Knox is the shiny new white building that will be home to a finance company. Down the road there are restaurants, fashion boutiques, and cafes open, and then right down the end by Kilmore Street is the open Casino and of course the partly demolished Crown Plaza Hotel.
Today I took the opportunity to walk into the square (the entrance is from the Cashel Mall). It was quite a surreal experience, especially since it was such a beautiful day – a stark contrast to the destruction we were viewing. There were lots of families doing the walk, quite a few older folk, and a few tourists as well – all walking along the fenced walkway and taking in the ruins that is the Cathedral and the new cityscape we now have. The walkway will be closed in a few weeks as they need to bring down the BNZ building which is very dangerous (well that’s what the sign said). We stood for a while and watched a crane lowering down a shipping container from the BNZ building – they’d been getting belongings out of the building. I didn’t feel unsafe in there, but I guess if we’d had even a small shake the instinct to get out would take over. They limit the walk to 400 people I think – they have guys with clickers counting people in and people out. Before you enter the walk there’s a large sign warning you that you may not survive in the event of an earthquake. It didn’t seem to put anyone off…
This morning my partner and I went on the CBD red zone bus tour. When I first heard that CERA were putting on these tours there was no doubt in my mind that I would go on one if possible. Like everyone else, when I rang CERA I got the safety warning about how dangerous this tour could be if the worst happened – (a big quake) – and had to agree that it was ok that I ‘might not survive’. There were a few moments after I made the booking, that I thought maybe it wasn’t such a good idea – but like most people I thought it was highly unlikely. We were taken through the safety message again when we were all seated on the bus and given an opportunity to get off bus should we have second thoughts – but no one took up the offer. So it was off we went. I guess I felt more ‘anticipation and excitement’ than anything else – oh and perhaps a bit of stress about getting some decent photos. Prior to getting onto the bus I had already worked out that sitting on the right hand side of the bus and at the rear of it would give me the best chance of photographing the Cathedral. So pretty much all of the photos are shot looking out of the right hand side of the bus. I didn’t feel any grief or high emotion on the trip, as I think what I had seen already of the damage had prepared me pretty well for what I was going to see. I took some video as well and there are a few expletives here and there as I gasp at how big some of the cleared sections are.
I honestly could not decide what pictures to leave out, so I have included a copy of most of the photos I took, as I am conscious that different people will be interested in the fate of quite different streets or buildings.
Here’s an excellent video of the tour by Warwick Isaacs from CERA.