Monday, October 4, 2010

The Civic's elephant frieze

Auckland's Civic Theatre ("The Mighty Civic") was restored 70 years after its opening. Much was made of the interiors, the Indian motifs throughout.

But yesterday, while waiting for the start of the Auckland City Council shindig closing the Heritage Festival, I spotted this.

This is one of two fragments of a elephant-design ceramic frieze which once edged the Civic's lobby and foyer. One is in the doorway leading to Stark's cafe next door (pictured).

According to the heritage plaque on the wall above each portion, "When the original floor was removed and replaced with Terrazzo, eight isolated pieces of the frieze tiling survived beneath projecting wall decorations above. These sections (shaded in the diagram below) were sufficient to reconstruct the repeating pattern, and have been placed within the pair of restored panels either side of this space, using infill of new tiles made to match."

The mosaic restoration was a gift from George Farrant, long-time heritage manager in Auckland City Council and a man passionate about the restoration of the Civic.


  1. Just to let you know that the new website for the Friends of the Civic Theatre Charitable Trust will be going live in a couple of weeks and we would love to add a link to this article! Will let you know when we are all go. Cheers Leonie

  2. Wonderful, Leonie -- do let me know, and I'll add your link to the blog in return.



  3. Hi Lisa, we have gone live with the website this weekend for testing - let me know what you think. If you see any typos of anything that i have missed out dont hesitate to contact me!
    I can be contacted on
    Leonie Norton

  4. What a gorgeous website, Leonie! I'll put it up as a post of its own now. Cheers -- and thanks for the links to Timespanner!

  5. We are still in testing phase and your link for some reason goes to the Under Construction page (hence the testing!!) - will be 'Public Live' very shortly.... thanks for your support! Leonie

  6. It's going through all right from this end. If your link does change, Leonie, let me know. Cheers!