6.8.10

They think we live in grass huts.

Recently, I posted some photos of Wellington.

"I didn't expect Wellington to look so modern," someone commented.

“They all think we live in grass huts,” said Adam. “But the building in that photo is Art Deco.”

In New Zealand, Wellington is known for its architecture. It has a variety of architectural styles from the last 150 years. In addition to Art Deco, Wellington has post-modern architecture in the CBD. In other areas, there are nineteenth-century wooden cottages.

Buildings have been lost, but some of Wellington looks like it did 80 years ago. The National Library of New Zealand has posted some photos from its collection in The Commons on Flickr.

Intersection of Lambton Quay, Hunter Street, and Featherston Street, Wellington, with the Mutual Life & Citizens Assurance Company Building, ca 1935

Willis Street, Wellington, ca 1930s

Ship Canberra, Kings Wharf, Wellington, ca 1930s

People on the beach, Oriental Bay, Wellington, ca 1930s

--
When I first came to New Zealand, I spent most of my time in Wellington. I still enjoy going to "town". But after a few years, I was drawn to a New Zealand that I found in rural villages, in the bush, and at the beach. I no longer hear the siren call of the cities.

7 comments:

Casey Freeland said...

I especially like the building that looks like a ship. That's really cool. ;)

Casey

TechnoBabe said...

So do you live in country area and go to the city when you need to ?

Lisa said...

What great photos!

I live in the country well outside of Atlanta. I'm not fond of the city itself, but I adore the rural areas here in the Deep South. On the other hand, I miss the city of Chicago so much my heart hurts sometimes.

You appear to have the best of both worlds.

From AA to NZ said...

I love Wellington. The trip from here to there - not so much. Fab photos btw.

Arthur (AmeriNZ) said...

I had to laugh when I read the comments about NZ buildings. An American once talked to me about NZ "houses on stilts". Turns out, I'd mentioned pole homes, a common building technique to build houses on steep hillsides and somehow that became "stilts". Other times I've referred folks back home to NZ real estate sites. "Your houses are so modern!" one exclaimed, apparently surprised.

We've lived in small town New Zealand, and while we found rural life had some nice things, it was also often frustrating (for example, all shops closed by 5pm and didn't open on Sundays or past midday Saturday). We really like living in Auckland, which to me IS a small city (I came from Chicago). But who knows where we'll end up in the future!

Sarah (Chez Lee) said...

Really enjoying your daily blog posts. I love Wellington in that it's so small and easy to walk around. The Wellington Sculpture Trust have to be thanked for the most amazing installations around the city and its boundaries. I think the city itself does look modern - but some of the houses out in the suburbs can look a little precarious - especially the ones beaten by the sea perched on the sides of cliffs! It's funny to hear people's imagined perceptions of NZ that haven't visited.

Paradigm Spaces said...

Ah the siren's lure. Architecture always draws me, as does nature's poetry. Wellington over Corvallis? My life as a girl with her foot in both worlds...decisions decisions. I need a pro/con robot.