Posts Tagged ‘rebuild’

Manchester Street now has two new Barnes Dance crossings, at Gloucester and Worcester Streets.

These allow pedestrians to cross in every direction, with all vehicles stopped while they do.  I remember the very first N.Z. Barnes Dance crossing in Auckland in the late 1950s.

The crossings are named for an American traffic engineer, Henry Barnes, and the system was first used in North America in the 1940s.  Barnes didn’t invent it, but as traffic commissioner in Denver, Baltimore, and later New York, he promoted its use in the centre of these cities.  According to Barnes the name was coined when a reporter wrote that ‘Barnes has made the people so happy they’re dancing in the streets’.

The Barnes Dance became less popular when streets became clogged with vehicles and traffic engineers regarded cars as more important than pedestrians.  It’s good to see more of the dances being constructed in central Christchurch and their benefits for pedestrian safety recognised.

“To walk diagon’ly across
just shows the drivers who is boss.”



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The mural in Press Lane is now complete, and includes signs alluding to what was there before.

Along the lane is printed the ‘Press’ motto  Nihil utile quod non honestum.  It was impossible for me to get a photo of the whole thing because the lane is narrow.

“I like the way the lane can be
an aid to people’s memory.”

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Last week there was scaffolding outside the new Oxford Terrace Baptist Church while they were setting the old pillars in place.

Today it’s all complete and ready for the official opening this afternoon.  It’s good to see the pillars back, even if there’s only a few of them.

“Another building has returned
for which its people long have yearned.”




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Matai Common

Matai Common in Mollett Street is part of the enhancement of the city’s South Frame.  The idea is to use stories, plants, and landscape design to create a unique and welcoming urban place.   It features attractive plantings with boards explaining how the various native plants can be used.

Matai Common

Today the only inhabitants were rebuild workers on their morning break, but there are monthly Sunday markets here, and an invitation for other community events.  Yikes is responsible for the mural near the Colombo Street entrance.

Mollett Street mural by Yikes

As the rebuild continues the South Frame will have three more gathering spaces like this, all linked by pedestrian and cycle ways.

“A common space where we can rest
when relaxation is the quest.”


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King Edward Barracks

Kai Tahu have made a wonderful job of redeveloping the site where the King Edward Barracks used to stand.  The buildings surround a central park called Nga Mara o Te Wera (the gardens of Te Wera).

There are many lovely touches, such as the drawings of birds along the edges of the grassed area.

A sculpture of a shell by Virginia King is a tribute to Lisa Willems who lost her life in the February 2011 earthquake.

The original foundation stone for the Barracks has been preserved, and a plaque alongside says “The cry of many voices lost.  Forever held in our memories.”

One wall has many studs, each with the initials of one of the team who led the project.

This whole place demonstrates care and love in a way which is not often seen, and it is a pleasure to visit.

“The Barracks have emerged anew
with history acknowledged too.”

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I love this sign on a seat outside the old High Street Post Office (now C1 Espresso).  It commemorates the Christchurch that was bulldozed by bureaucracy in 2015.

Nearby is an older plaque commemorating our first public water supply in 1864.

On the footpath there’s a barely legible sign which says “there’s nothing to see here.”

Perhaps this path, complete with bronze corgis, should be renamed revolution corner?

“This rebel area of town
could turn convention upside-down.”


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Weapons Wanted

The worker on the right has a t-shirt with a good slogan.  It reads “Weapons of Mass Construction”.

“To use these weapons to rebuild
we need tradespeople who are skilled.”

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