Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Old Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings

More photos I took when I visited Christchurch. in 2007. One of the heritage complexes in Christchurch badly damaged by the 22 February earthquake is that of the old Canterbury Provincial Council buildings, corner Armagh and Durham Streets, category 1 on the NZ Historic Places Trust register.

It appears from aerial shots taken yesterday that the stone tower shown here has totally collapsed, and is now just rubble in the street. It dated from 1859.

This comes from a mini poster from the Provincial Chambers. This shows the main stone chambers where the members of the Provincial Council would meet. It looks like this chamber has almost completely collapsed in the earthquake.

Around the chamber were windows like this. The wording between the rosette designs were quotes and phrases designs to inspire ethical feelings amongst the council members as they administered the province.

Images from display boards within the complex.

When I visited back then, I was warmly welcomed by the members of the society who look after the buildings and hold the guided tours. I hope they are safe.

"Canterbury Provincial Council Buildings, Christchurch. Photograph by Greg O'Beirne, taken 22nd January 2006, licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license and Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 Generic license." From Wikimedia.

I think this part of the complex wasn't as badly affected as the rest -- but, considering Christchurch is at the vtime of writing still going through 4.0 and even 5.0 level aftershocks ... whichever way you look at it, Christchurch, and our country, has lost such a lot during this reminder that we ride the Pacific Ring of Fire.


  1. The photos show such a beautiful collection of historic buildings, sadly I heard on the radio a lady explaining that most of the ruined buildings were the older, historic ones while only a handful of modern buildings were wrecked.

  2. True. The older buildings were built before national earthquake regulations -- and who the heck ever thought Christchurch would have not one, but two earthquakes, and all the thousands of aftershocks, like these ones?

    Christchurch central is built on a former swamp. We have a habit of building on swamps or reclamations. I'm just hoping all this seismic activity doesn't mean something much worse is coming.

  3. having been away from ChCh for >50 yrs, the Provincial Council Buildings are one of the places I have a great attachment... I hope they will be re-built