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.
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.