CBD scene compared with 100 years ago

00:23, Jul 22 2014
Christ Church Cathedral
NOW AND THEN: Christ Church Cathedral remains cordoned off and exposed to the elements in Cathedral Square, 2014. It was a different story in July 1914, with the busy square bustling.


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Inner-city Christchurch has truly been knocked back in time by the earthquakes.

CHANGING LANDSCAPE: The Hereford-High-Colombo streets corner is a mix of vacant buildings awaiting repair or demolition and some businesses that have reopened post-quake., compared to a July 1914 photo.

Photos taken in July 1914 reveal a bustling, lively-looking city centre, complete with many of the iconic buildings lost as a result of the earthquakes.

Press photographer Dean Kozanic shot the same intersections 100 years later but instead of photographing trams, pedestrians and cyclists navigating the city's heart, his pictures captured empty sites and boarded-up buildings.

Road cones and fences are a part of Christchurch life in 2014 and on a grey winter's day only a few people are walking through the city centre.


In the 1914 images, the copper dome of the former ANZ building in High St can be seen. The dome fell to the ground in the February 2011 quake and was famously photographed that day lying upside down in Lichfield St.

A week later it was gone.

The 1914 images show the Old Post Office and Christ Church Cathedral standing proud in the square.

The heritage-listed Old Post Office was built in the 1870s and has been subject to a section 45 notice - meaning it is deemed too dangerous to be occupied - since February 2011.

Owner Gordon Chamberlain has been fighting with his insurance company about the fate of the building for three years.

Meanwhile, the Anglican diocese plans to demolish the cathedral and build a contemporary replacement on the site.

The Press