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Showing posts from April, 2013

New Lynn gets a makeover but remembers its past

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New Lynn is under development. Stage two was completed when the Merchant Quarter in the historic heart of New Lynn was officially opened this year, signalling the completion of the second phase of growth.

The iconic new buildings reflect New Lynn’s geography and heritage. Inspiration from the west coast bush can be seen in the medical centre’s triangular precast concrete panels and the panel edge colours match Crown Lynn tea saucers. The cladding of the car park takes it cue from west coast beaches and the air vents reference those of the 1969 Holden Monaro.

Links to New Lynn’s history as the cradle of ceramics and pottery in New Zealand are signalled by public art made from bricks and the Ambrico Place brick kiln feature. Future public investment will include the development of Crown Lynn Park on the old clay pits site previously used by the iconic ceramics producer.

Anzac Day

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First marked in 1916, Anzac Day commemorates all the New Zealanders killed in war and it also honours returned servicemen and women. The commemoration date, 25th April, remembers the date that the New Zealand and Australian soldiers or the Anzacs landed on the Gallipoli Peninsula in 1915.

To commemorate and reflect upon this important day, here are a selection of Auckland Libraries' heritage images relating to Anzac Day, which are drawn from around the region and across the decades.

West:


North:
Central:

South:

Mercury Theatre

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Mercury Theatre on the corner of Karangahape Road and Mercury Lane is the Auckland region’s oldest theatre building. Originally named the Kings Theatre, the theatre was built in 1910 for the notable Australasian entertainment company, John Fuller & Sons. The Fullers were a well known vaudeville family who had arrived in NZ in 1895 and toured the main centres.

John Fuller realised the potential of silent movies and the need for a purpose built theatre for both live theatre and music. He obtained the land for the theatre and architect Edward Bartley was given the brief to erect the the theatre. Built in the Edwardian Baroque style, this brick building of three storeys has a  rare and regionally notable interior, which is a prime example of  original Edwardian Theatre. The building previously had three entrances including the former entrance through the Norman Ng Building on Karangahape Road, which has been more recently occupied by a series of food outlets and cafes.


George Lowe

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On 22 March, New Zealander George Lowe passed away at the age of 89. George Lowe was the last surviving climber from the team that made the first successful ascent of Mount Everest.

As a child, Lowe broke his arm and it did not heal well. Despite being told by doctors that he would always be a cripple, Lowe went on to become an highly accomplished mountaineer.  Lowe accompanied Sir Edmund Hillary on a several expeditions including on Eric Shipton’s British Everest Reconnaissance Expedition and John Hunt’s 1953 British Everest Expedition. Upon summitting Mount Everest with Nepalese sherpa Tenzing Norgay, Hillary told Lowe that they had "knocked the bastard off".

Whatipu Post Office

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Did you know that there was once a small wooden Post Office located at Paratutai Wharf at the base of Paratutai Island in the Waitakere ranges? The building was subsequently relocated to Whatipu, a short distance away. The building is a simple shed with weatherboard walls and corrugated iron gabled roof. It was built between 1870-1909.


The building is now part of the Whatipu Lodge complex, located among the dramatic scenery of this area. It has provided accommodation for sightseers for nearly a century. The complex includes the Former Post Office, the Gibbons Homestead (built circa 1867), the four Cabin Blocks (built in 1910) and the Former Dairy (construction date unknown). So if you go and stay at these heritage building during your holidays, have a look around you and you will be rewarded with glimpses of the past.

Recording the history of the Fine Arts Library

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Variously known as the Auckland Free School of Art, the Free School of Art and the Campbell Free School of Art, an art school was founded in November 1878 by Sir John Logan Campbell (1817-1912), who believed that Auckland was in need of such a school.

The school was originally housed in one of the Auckland Museum’s earlier locations on Princes Street (this building no longer exists ), close to the Emily Place Reserve. Classes were held in the Lecture Hall & the Main Hall. The school closed at the end of 1889 with the establishment of the Elam School of Art and Design.

Elam was established in 1889  following the bequest of Dr John Edward Elam. Dr Elam was a patron of the arts and he gifted a large sum of money towards the establishment of a free art school for Auckland. The school was located in Symonds Street, Central Auckland in the old Grammar School buildings. Also housed in the building were the Workers’ Educational Association and the Goodwin Marionette Theatre.

The next cha…