Search This Blog

Wednesday, 31 May 2017

Napier, New Zealand

An Art Deco gem

Napier is a town on the east coast of New Zealand, it's a tourist spot and well known for its Art Deco buildings.



Napier has a wonderful collection of Art Deco buildings as that was the style that was popular when the town was rebuilt after a major earthquake. The centre of the town was destroyed by an earthquake and fire on the 3rd of February 1931. It was rebuilt during the time when Art Deco was in vogue and along with the South Beach in Miami area, is considered the best preserved Art Deco towns in existence. It's a town very popular with architecture buffs, let's just say I wasn't the only person with a camera going around taking pictures of the buildings!!



Some Art Deco buildings were replaced with contemporary structures in the 1960s, '70s and '80s but the importance of the Art Deco building was recognised by the early 1990s and they are now protected. As well as being beautifully maintained.









Something I noted when looking at the current use of the buildings is the multicultural aspect of New Zealand. This bakery was the Angkor Wat Kiwi Bakery.
Hildebrants which had a German flag along with the New Zealand flag on the building was now an Indian Restaurant.

The Masonic Hotel by the waterfront was rebuilt after the earthquake, there's a photo showing the original hotel which was all iron lace, very Edwardian complete with beautiful rotunda.



The current Art Deco Masonic Hotel.






The tourist information office.



Some of the buildings have been restored and advertise their previous use but are now used for other purposes.


Napier no longer has its own paper, it was combined with the nearby larger town of Hastings. The Napier office was then closed.


The old firestation.

Napier was close to the top of the list of places I wanted to see in New Zealand. It went even higher when I watched the nightly weather reports and saw that it pretty much had constant days of sunshine and high 20s (Celsius) temperatures when it was overcast and cool everywhere else! Driving in, the landscape looked very much like the area around Adelaide, rolling hillsides where the grass had dried to a summer brown. (Very different from the lush and green west coast) Vineyards, the Hawkes Bay area (where Napier can be found) is a well-known wine region. It was all very familiar. I loved Napier, beautiful town and fabulous weather as well! I'd like to return for a longer visit some time in the future.


No comments:

Post a Comment