HOMETOWN BOOMTOWN



MY TOWN.

Following the Christchurch Earthquakes, and subsequent demolition of a large number of historic buildings which were severely damaged in the quakes, there has been a continual mumble going on in Wellington about our own historic buildings. A number of them are categorised 'earthquake prone' - meaning they must either be seismically strengthened or demolished in the next 15 years.

It is interesting to see that our current policy is not unlike that of the 1970s, when a significant number of historic buildings were demolished. Many of these buildings were landmarks, whose titles, despite the  buildings having been gone for over 30 years,  I have used to denote places in the city my whole life. Places like 'Perrett's Corner', and 'Dukes' retain their titles, but the beautiful buildings which developed them as special spaces in the City are no more.

This wee film makes my heart ache with the concern of what my city will be like in another 30 years if this process is repeated again in the post-Christchurch hysteria. At one of the 'Talking Cities' lectures, someone made the point that numerous lives were saved by street awnings which stopped bricks from historic facades falling on to pedestrians. Perhaps this, rather than demolition, is an interim response worth pursuing.

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