Good to see Christchurch reviving .. more and more open

Pre quake New regent Street
Pre quake New Regent Street

It’s great to see Christchurch, New Zealand,  reviving with more and more of the post-quake city open.

1932 was a big year in Christchurch – Captain Cook’s statue was unveiled; there was a bitter train strike; the McDougal Art Gallery was opened; and New Regent Street opened – a double row of Spanish Mission style shops that were a huge change from the usual Gothic Revival and Queen Anne styles that most of the earlier inner city buildings had been built in.

Now, post quakes,(2010/11) Captain Cook’s statue is still standing in Victoria Square, the McDougal is still open in the Botanic Gardens, there are no strikes , and fabulously, New Regent Street has re-opened.

As New Zealand’s only street built at one time, in one style, it was considered a theatrical oddity among the staid buildings that surrounded it. Now, those buildings are mostly gone but this colourful street is once again open and although not all shops are open, yet, this is once again a tourist, and locals, destination hotspot.

One shop that opens this Saturday (27th April) is also a quake survivor – BEADZ UNLIMITED – formerly at the Arts Centre which is closed for quake strengthening and  repairs and, appropriately, one of their many products are the commemorative series which includes the original, the “broken cathedral,” and now also features the Basilica, the Arts Centre and other Christchurch favourites.

Rowena Watson started Beadz many years ago and it has grown from a market stall to being New Zealand’s first bead shop. A talented designer, she also designs many of her original beads and creates beautiful jewellery. So whether you want to make your own souvenir of Christchurch, New Zealand, or buy a gift, tourists and locals will always find something here.

BEADZ upstairs windows are original 1931
BEADZ upstairs windows are original 1931

See here for other shops open (or opening) in colourful New Regent Street and use this map to find out what’s open  in Christchurch.

Paver repairs nearly completed early April
Paver repairs nearly completed early April
Rendezvous Hotel at the md of New Regent Street open too.
Rendezvous Hotel at the end of New Regent Street opens too.
Captain Cook shares Victoria Square with Queen Vic ... of course:  2 min's walk from New Regent St
Captain Cook shares Victoria Square with Queen Vic … of course. Only  2 min’s walk from New Regent St
Site of Beadz in the Arts Centre
Site of the old Beadz in Christchurch’s  Arts Centre
Meet you for a coffee?
Meet you for a coffee?

8 comments

  1. I’ve been very eager to read “follow-up” posts about the rebuilding process in Christchurch, since I visited last July. So I read your words about “revival” with great interest, and I’m thrilled to read that New Regent Street is opening up again. Thanks for your post!

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      • Heather, I’d forgotten you were born in and lived a large part of your time in Christchurch. I took great pleasure in visiting the area and speaking with the locals; I could not mistake the pride and determination from those who decided to stay and rebuild. I look forward very much to going back again. 🙂

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      • I felt guilty for while when I first moved to Wellington (& not because of the quake) but I know I’m helping the rebuild by posting good news about the area .. as we say, “you can take the gal out of Canterbury but you can’t take Canterbury out of the gal!”

        No wonder we are considered one-eyed 🙂

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  2. Thanks, Heather, for keeping us so up to date on the ‘rebuild’ of beautiful Christchurch.
    So happy about Regent Street and I will love going to the new Beadz Unlimited location when I next visit – I too know what an ‘artist’ Rowena Watson is with her unique jewelry.
    Cheers to all those involved in the ‘rebuild’ – that wonderful Kiwi spirit can’t be beat!

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