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?
“Cathedral Square by night the northwest corner with the start of Chancery Lane under the bright white light. The Tivoli theatre later became the Westend, a huge cinema (scene of many happy nights out in my teenage years) complete with cat known to sleep on seats at the back. The old building to the left was later the site of the AMP building, and the one to the right became the Government Life building.”
Date: 18 August 1959.
Entry in the 2016 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Isabel Tweedy.
Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.
Korean Day is coming back again this year. It will take place in Cathedral Square between 11am and 4pm on Saturday 29th November 2014.
This special day first started in 2013, when it had the distinction of being the first public event held in Cathedral Square after the February 2011 earthquake. This was an important milestone in the reintegration of Cathedral Square in the cultural life of the city.
Korean Day has quickly become an important cultural event on the Christchurch calendar, as well as being the biggest event for the Korean community in the whole South Island.
The organisers of the day, the Korean Society in Christchurch, see the event as an opportunity to help build strong ties with other local communities through collaborative performances.
The day promises to be a unique showcase of shared artistic values. You can look forward to traditional Korean dancing, as well as music and pieces by guest performers. A special guest will be Park Choon-Hee, Mayor of Songpa-gu, Christchurch’s Korean Sister City. And of course there will be lots of delicious food to sample, and plenty of entertainment for the whole family.
So make sure you don’t miss out this fun opportunity to let go of the daily stresses and to recharge your batteries – come along and get a chance to experience Korean culture!