The Christchurch Arts Centre has always been one of my favourite spots for hanging out in Christchurch. A myriad of stairs and nooks and crannies always seem to hide the most amazing of treasures and I’ve got a collection of things I’ve bought from the Arts Centre over the years and photos I’ve taken.
The Arts Centre is unique not just in that it is one of the most significant collections of heritage buildings in NZ (dating back to 1880), but also that it is an independent charity that is held in trust for the people of Canterbury for arts, culture, education and creativity.
It’s places like this that make me love Christchurch all the more!
Significantly damaged in the earthquake, the Arts Centre fate could have been so much worse had the previous director not negotiated new cover from $20 million to $150 million. Whilst not enough to cover all the damage it did go a long way to ensure that the Arts Centre was lovingly restored to the same standards (with all the new building codes applied) as when it was first built.
Stone masons have been bought in from around the world to restore it and for a while the Arts Centre was the largest buyer of Welsh slate roof tiles in the world!
Filled with history and intrigue, the Arts Centre is one of those places that you can wander around and loose yourself for hours.
I’m still not sure what I love best – the stone interior and stained glass windows or the open courtyards outside.
Either way, it’s a must see on any trip to Christchurch and with so much of the Arts Centre now rebuilt and opened it’s a true testament to the rebuild efforts.
I’m also a firm believer that everyone should see a few of Christchurch’s scars while they are still there in the open to truly appreciate what it has overcome and how it is on it’s way to becoming a world class city.