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?
Esther Woolfson’s Field notes from a hidden city looks at the ecology of Aberdeen over a year. She uncovers the wildlife in an urbanised environment that is fascinating, enduring and can go unnoticed. She had previously written Corvus, an equally fascinating look at crows, many of which she’d adopted over the years.
A book that the publisher is touting heavily The Private War of J. D. Salinger is a biography of one of the most loved and most reclusive writers of our time. It has apparently taken eight years to write and research and is linked to a documentary film Harvey Weinstein is going to release at the same time the book is published.
For something new from the CD collection try Shocking Miss Emerald by Caro Emerald. Caro cites the Andrews Sisters, Sarah Vaughan and Billie Holiday as her influences, although the context is very much a contemporary sound.
Wood Pallet Projects may not be the most exciting title of the month, but considering the fabulous work that ReKindle is doing then this book could generate many exciting projects.
I Saw A Peacock with A Fiery Tail is a lovely children’s book, deceptively simple, but with wonderful depth. It illustrates a poem that gives different meanings depending on how it is read. One way of reading makes perfect sense, and the other leads to fantastic images. A book to be enjoyed by adults and children alike.
Another children’s book that is not quite so sophisticated but will make a great read-aloud is The Day the Crayons Quit. Duncan just wants to colour in, but when he opens the book the colours have all written him letters. Beige is tired of playing second fiddle to Brown, Blue needs a break from colouring in all that water, while Pink just wants to be used. Green has no complaints, but Orange and Yellow are no longer speaking to each other! Very funny and great illustrations by Oliver Jeffers.