Railways, Recalcitrants and Rave-ups

When I bought my house in Addington, the real estate guru assured me it was an ‘up and coming suburb’. Of course, they all say such things, and it wasn’t the main reason for buying my house, but who would know it would take the earthquakes to push it into the status of  “the funkiest and most exciting post-earthquake neighbourhood”, according to the latest Lonely Planet Guide to New Zealand.
Photo of the Star Hotel Addington

The review goes on to say,

“Previously sleepy Addington is now being transformed with new cafes, restaurants, theatres and live-music venues.”

I have noticed quite radical changes, with old buildings torn down (many I admit I was not sad to see go), and many new cafes and restaurants bars opened that are the places to be seen, but the older less salubrious parts still remain. Huge new office spaces are being built and the Court Theatre  is doing very well in its new digs by the railway line. The suburb though is also developing a down side with increased drunkeness, and need for police presence on weekend evenings.

Photo of men at the A&P showMy Grandad worked at the Addington railway yards, fitting out the coaches for people to relax in on their journeys. I used to so love going to the Industries Fair they held as part of the A&P Show. This was held, weirdly, exactly on the spot my house is now. I feel as if I have come full circle in more than one way as my parents’ first flat after they married was a few blocks from where I live too.

The Addington Jail, was built 1874, in the gothic revival style so favoured in our city under the guidance of Benjamin W Mountfort. It has survived recent events, partly due to its 60cm solid concrete walls. It previously served as home to sentenced and remand prisoners, a women’s prison and  a military camp. Closed in 1999, it is now run  as a rather unique backpackers. New post quakes uses have been found for the former Woods Brothers flour mill in Wise Street. The Christchurch City Council has approved funding for restoration work, and the plan is to turn the wonderful brick building into an entertainment and social hub, further enhancing the suburbs growing reputation.

So I think I’ll stay for a while, and see what becomes of my hood. What changes are happening in your neighbourhood? Good, bad or sad?