Cathedral Square: Past and Future

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.

Regenerate Christchurch recently released some draft concepts for what Cathedral Square might look like in the future. And they are looking for feedback (until 21 August – so get in with your reckons).

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.

Crowd in Cathedral Square, Christchurch, celebrating Armistice Day. Head, Samuel Heath, d 1948 :Negatives. Ref: 1/1-007108-G. Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand. http://natlib.govt.nz/records/22898377

 

Love the special sign for “Pedestrians” in this street photo from 1938.

Naomi Poulsen and friends in front of the Cathedral, 1938. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Victory celebration stirs Christchurch crowds. Christchurch turned out yesterday en masse to attend the second day of Victory Celebrations. A section of the crowd in the Square. 10 May 1945, The Press, 11 May 1945, p.8

 

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.

Snow in town, Cathedral. by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

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.

Plaza Theatre, Cathedral Square, 1946. Plaza Theatre, Cathedral Square by Patricia Scott is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Jacqui Taylor’s father leading a procession in front of the Christchurch Cathedral. He sang in the Cathedral Choir, Late 1940’s, File reference: HW10-S-Fe-020. Licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Cathedral Square decorated in honour of the Queen and Prince Phillip. Date: 1950s by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

A common street photograph pose near the Citizens’ War Memorial.

Pauline Ormandy (left) and Colleen Finn (right) by the Cathedral as 16 year olds. File reference: HW10-Sh-161 Cathedral Cuties, 1964, by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivatives 3.0 New Zealand

 

Long hair and sandals in the seventies.

This was taken in the Square in Easter 1971, File Reference: HWC08-ANZC-080, Bible Lady by CityScape is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

An orderly bus queue on a sunny afternoon, in the late 70s or early 80s.

Chief Post Office by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Obligatory Wizard photo.

The Wizard (“C’mon Canterbury”) on ladder). I took this photo in Cathedral Square early in 1982. I later returned and gave the wizard a copy. He showed it to the crowd, announcing himself to be “A living work of art”. The Wizard, Cathedral Square, 1982 by Julia Thomas is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

A busy day in Cathedral Square, probably in the 1990s

View of Post Office buildings in the Square by CCL Photo Hunt is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Christchurch Arts Festival sculpture “Snow Orchid” and Speigeltent venue in background, 2007.

Snow Orchid was installed in Cathedral Square for the 2007 Christchurch Arts Festival. The work was designed by Strategy Design and Advertising and constructed by Warwick Bell of Fabric Structure Systems. Snow Orchid Christchurch Arts Festival 2007 DSC06625 by SueC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Many protests and demonstrations have taken place in Cathedral Square over the years. This one in 2010 resulted in Neville Toohey being arrested.

Neville Toohey locked himself on the balcony of the Christchurch Cathedral and unfurled a banner with the name of his anti-ACC website over the side of the building. Mr Toohey was protesting after being denied back surgery by ACC. After spending the night on the balcony, Mr Toohey left the Cathedral at 1.00pm and was arrested and charged with trespass. ACC Protest, Cathedral Square, Christchurch, 26 March 2010 by KeteScape is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

 

Cathedral Square as it looks now. But what does the future hold?

Christchurch: Where the children of today enjoy and shape the dreams of tomorrow, 10 October 2014. Entry in the Christchurch City Council Long Term Plan 2015 – 2025 Photography Competition by Len Jingco. LTPLeJi by SueC is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 New Zealand License

Find out more

Cathedral Balloons, Kidsfest 2007: Picturing Canterbury

Cathedral balloons, 2007.
Balloons in the Square for the opening of Kidsfest 2007. File Reference:MeOp-PH14-cathedral-balloons-2007.jpg. Entry in the 2014 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Melanie Opie. CC BY-NC-SA 3.0 NZ.

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

Winter Sun, Christchurch Cathedral, 1969 : Picturing Canterbury

Winter sun warms Christchurch Cathedral, 1969. Entry in the 2015 Christchurch City Libraries Photo Hunt by Paul Harrington. Kete Christchurch PH15-PaHa-Winter-Sun-Christchurch-Cathedral-1969. CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 NZ

Kete Christchurch is a collection of photographs and stories about Christchurch and Canterbury, past and present. Anyone can join and contribute.

See more of our Picturing Canterbury posts.

CDs, children and cathedrals – cool new stuff from our selectors

Cover of Field notes from a Hidden city.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.

Cover of The day the crayons quit.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 Cover of Imperial Gothic.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.

Imperial Gothic:  Religious Architecture and High Anglican Culture in the British Empire, C. 1840-70 is at first glance an imposing rather dry-looking book, but gives for those of you interested in the heritage of the ChristChurch Cathedral it provides great insight and worldwide context to it and a number of other Canterbury and New Zealand churches.