Christchurch Arts Centre

Christchurch Arts Centre

The massive earthquake of last weekend in Christchurch is still very much in our minds right now.  Here are some images from the area still cordoned off, taken at a happier time.  The Christchurch Arts Centre in fact used to be the home of Canterbury University.  When my wife and I attended that university the campus was split over the two sites.  She had most of her lectures in these buildings, while I had Chemistry II lectures here and the rest out at Ilam (its present location).  The “town site” is a lovely spot:

Christchurch Arts Center

These days it’s the home of all kinds of activities.  For example, this kid is escaping to the fresh air after his Saturday morning music lessons:

Christchurch Arts Center

The blue pond was not there in my day, but now makes for some interesting images:

Christchurch Arts Center

Christchurch Arts Center

Nearby, a plaque on the wall reminds us of Canterbury University’s most famous physicist:

Christchurch Arts Center

Various shows are held in the quadrangles, sometimes leading to unusual sites,

Christchurch Arts Center

The doors to the right lead to a small cafe.  I had a wonderful lunch here a year or so ago, when my wife caught up with an old friend.  They had both studied English and History here and were reminiscing  about their student days.  There was a lot of pointing to various windows around the place, references to old professors, phrases that had stuck through all the intervening years.  It was wonderful to sit as an observer, to see those two so engaged.

I’m writing this on Day 4 after the earthquake.  There hasn’t been much said about these building so far, certainly no reports of major damage.  I believe they’ve had a fair bit of strengthening over recent years, so I hope that they have survived in good shape.  I’m heading down to the Canterbury area tomorrow so who knows,  I might be able to give you a status report in a few days.

Incidently, the Engineering School at Canterbury University is renowned for the quality of its earthquake engineering graduates.  I think that shows in the low casualty numbers.  There will be a lot of building designers looking at their work with some pride, I imagine.

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