Cathedral Square has long been an important civic space for Christchurch. In its time it has functioned as a transport hub and “movie theatre central”. It’s been a meeting place, and a stage for political protest, debate and speeches. It has been the home to markets, tourism operators, and of course, a cathedral. Numerous concerts have been held there and recently it has hosted a temporary ice-rink. From mid next year it will also have a shiny, new library in its North-East corner.
Cathedral Square is a place with a many memories for Christchurch people and it has changed a great deal over the years. So while you’re considering what The Square of the future should be like, have a look at these glimpses of its past.
Love the special sign for “Pedestrians” in this street photo from 1938.
Though there’s no date provided for this photo of Cathedral Square covered in snow, the presence of the Citizens’ War Memorial, far left, (unveiled in 1937) means it might be the snow of July, 1945.
The Plaza Theatre originally opened as The Strand in 1917. In this photo the neighbouring United Service Hotel can be seen at left with the Women’s Rest Rooms at right. The theatre was demolished in 1990.
A common street photograph pose near the Citizens’ War Memorial.
Long hair and sandals in the seventies.
An orderly bus queue on a sunny afternoon, in the late 70s or early 80s.
Obligatory Wizard photo.
A busy day in Cathedral Square, probably in the 1990s
Christchurch Arts Festival sculpture “Snow Orchid” and Speigeltent venue in background, 2007.
Many protests and demonstrations have taken place in Cathedral Square over the years. This one in 2010 resulted in Neville Toohey being arrested.
Cathedral Square as it looks now. But what does the future hold?