Saturday, March 09, 2013

Napier

In case you are not aware Napier, on the east coast of New Zealand's north island, was all but destroyed by an earthquake in 1931 and 256 citizens were killed. The town was rebuilt in the Art Deco style, popular at that time, and is now considered to be second only to the Miami area South Beach, with well preserved Deco buildings.

By the early 1990s it was realised that the town had an important architectural style and serious preservation and restoration began.

I have found that some of the more interesting examples of Art Deco are often to be found within commercial and industrial buildings.

This photo by Alan Liefting shows the edifice of what is known as the Rothman's building. You may or may not like the building but if you click on this link, David Thompson shows you some marvellous lead light windows from Napier, including some from the Rothman's building. I can assure you, you will like at least some of the windows.

17 comments:

  1. I love the look of the building including the font of the signage.

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    1. Fonts are surprisingly important Victor, and I have only recently learnt this.

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  2. I am passionate about the city because it is all original. Miami is beautiful too but it was apparently totally renovated and painted in brand new colours in the 1980s.

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    1. Hels, like you, I like to see things maintained and preserved rather than renovated.

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  3. When I first saw this I thought you had quickly jumped across the Tasman!

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    1. Hehe KN, not yet. I guess you have been there?

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    2. Yes, a few times, though I am more familiar with other areas...

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  4. Haha, lots of reasons to head across 'the ditch' - but hope these buildings are earthquake-proof. If that's even possible.

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    1. Red, I doubt they would be. Hope lightening doesn't strike twice.

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  5. "...serious preservation and restoration..."
    Why can't our governments, councils, pollies do the same? instead of tearing down all the beautiful old buildings.

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    1. Yes River, we have lost way too much already.

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  6. I can't say that I like art deco architecture but it fascinates me when I see it mainly in country towns. It is good that it is kept as a reminder of real life history.

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    1. Diane, there is fantastic art deco in the country that survived by neglect. Well, not neglect, but a lack of renewal.

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  7. I'm very partial to the lead light windows Andrew, so beautiful. I have four small ll windows myself. Feeling very unhappy right now, elections not good..why the heck is Julie Bishop on WA tv even talking, the woman makes me crazy whittering away.

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    1. Bad result Grace. Victor in Sydney had some disparaging remarks about Bishop too.

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  8. I've come to really love the Art Deco style. I wish we had preserved more of our older places in Melbourne.

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    1. Indeed Fen. The re use and adaptation of old buildings is a must.

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