Friday, October 2, 2009

At the foot of Shortland Street

At the foot of Shortland Street are a number of memorials and monuments -- "Te Waka Taumata o Horotiu" being just one. You just need to be able to find a quiet gap in the midst of the flow of the crowd to take a look.

One is a plaque inserted into the footpath back in 1993, for the 150th anniversary of the Auckland Agricultural  and Pastoral Association Inc. (the crew who put on the Royal Auckland Easter Show each year). Seems they met where the plaque "marks the site" in 1843, at the Royal Exchange Hotel.

Which is supposed to be this corner (the plaque is in front of it) -- now the site (since 1878) of the Blackett's Building.


Except ...

In the early 1840s, James Watson built his Exchange Hotel., later owned by William Hart by around 1843.  [This info updated November 2010-- see this post]. The brand new Agricultural and Horticultural Committee held their show in one of the upstairs rooms. The hotel came to be known as the Royal Exchange Hotel in the 1850s, up to 1862. Then, a Mr. Steers had a hotel on Shortland Street. The hotel (Exchange, Royal Exchange, Steers) wasn't on the corner, though. The corner site was a warehouse, then an auction market, up to the construction of the current building. The plaque should be on Shortland Street itself, not Queen Street, and just up from the Blackett's Building. Perhaps it just looked better to have the plaque by an old building, rather than one which has replaced an older building.


While across the street to get the shot of Blacketts', I stepped on this -- the naming plaque for "Te Waka Taumata o Horotiu", beside Burger King. Quite hard to spot.


Eyes downward, I also spotted this: marking the site of the William Denny Hotel, and the first Chamber of Commerce meeting.

Southern Cross, 25 January 1856

Said site is today, as previously said: a Burger King outlet.

Finally, this:

Another Fred Graham sculpture, "Kaitiaki II" (Trustee).

Kaitiaki means guardian as well -- and there's already one in Auckland -- Kaitiaki, beside the Auckland War Memorial Museum.

"Kaitiaki II" will stand outside the new Metroplex Centre, the one which takes the place of the BNZ building and the guts of the Jean Batten building behind. I can't find any info online yet -- it seems to be that new. It is certainly streamlined for that seemingly unceasing flow of people passing through at the foot of the street.

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