Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.
Oracle Park, Home of the San Francisco Giants, Wednesday, July 10, 2024.

Saturday, December 30, 2023

Cruise Day 8: Dunedin, South Island, New Zealand: On Walk About, Part 3 - Saturday, December 30, 2023

Continued from Parts 1 & 2...

From Toitu Otago Settlers Museum, I really wanted to go to the Chinese Garden next door. However, it was raining and we knew we needed to keep walking to work the University of Otago into our itinerary. We bypassed the Chinese Garden.

Central Police Station (former); now the Dunbar  House.

We kept passing the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum (although these other buildings don't say it on the outside). The museum is huge, but now that I'm writing my blog, I can see how many former historic buildings have become part of the museum complex. Inside, these buildings are seamlessly linked and I had no idea so many buildings were included in one!

The Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.

Toitu Otago Settlers Museum (Gold Rush).

Former New Zealand Road Services Building,
now part of the Toitu Otago Settlers Museum.
(Art Deco style.)

Princes Street, Dunedin, New Zealand.

First Church (pictured below) is decorated-Gothic style. It successfully replicates the effect, if on a smaller scale, of the great Norman cathedrals of England. The view I took, as seen from the Queens Gardens, shows the true architecture and extravagant European basilica-like quality of the church, which shocked its early congregants.

First Church, Dunedin, New Zealand.
The Celtic Cross in Queens Garden Park.

The Dunedin Cenotaph stands in the center
of Queens Gardens. It is the city's main 
war memorial.
Queen Victoria Statue in Queens Gardens.

Art deco lion at the base of the Dunedin
Cenotaph war memorial in Queens Gardens.

In the photo below is Dunedin's Garrison Hall (1879). It was designed to provide space for the volunteer militias to drill and organize their forces, and stand as testaments to the key role of such forces in 19th and early 20th century New Zealand. 

In 1962, the New Zealand Broadcasting Corporation (NZBC) took over the building which became Television New Zealand (TVNZ). They stayed in the building for 35 years.

Dunedin's historic Garrison Hall.

Now that you're familiar with Dunedin's history, we'll pick up the pace to show you highlights all over downtown until we get to the University of Otago. That deserves a bit more attention.

New Zealand Insurance Company building (former).

An interesting business sign.

"Three Hoiho/Yellow-Eyed Penguins," street art
on Burlington Street by Bruce Mahalski for Team Hoiho.

First Church of Otago (Presbyterian).

First Church of Otago (Presbyterian)

First Church of Otago (Presbyterian)

First Church of Otago (Presbyterian)

Street art: "Take the Leap," by Aroha Novak
and Guy Howard-Smith.

I must make note of the theater below. This building first opened in 1916 as the 
Empire Theater with a 2,000-seat capacity. The building was taken over during the 1920s and extensively redesigned in a faux Moorish style with a twinkling, starry interior ceiling and minarets. [Note: It sounds like the Majestic Theater in San Antonio, Texas. These "gems" are called "atmospheric theaters*" and there aren't very many of them in the world.] In the late 1930s, the foyer was remodeled in the popular Art Deco style.

The cinema was operated as part of the Kerridge-Odeon chain of cinemas from the end of World War II until 1993. It was renamed the St. James Theater in 1952, undergoing major renovations at the same time, though parts of the earlier Moorish and Art Deco stylings were retained. In 1993, the cinema was closed while a major overhaul was undertaken. It eventually reopened under its current name in 1998. The complex expanded to a six-screen multiplex and became part of the Rialto Cinemas group. The renovations restored much of the original interior including the starry ceiling in the main theater as well as uncovering several of the Moorish-styled interior arches and wrought iron work.

[*Atmospheric theaters are noted for their elaborate interior features. This theater is in the registry of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust. In the trust's registry, it is noted for its elaborate interior features. The trust indicates its "use of exotic historic architectural design themes to create the illusion of a romantic courtyard or amphitheatre, and...use of special concealed lighting effects to further the creating a night sky effect on the ceiling of the auditorium. The illusion of the courtyard/amphitheatre was cleverly done by creating in plaster the design features of a pergola, such as classical or eastern columns with entablatures or architraves, and blind arcades, again in either classical or exotic eastern architectural forms... [The structure includes] a ceiling of smooth plaster painted electric blue, and curved from behind the sidewalls without interruption or blemish. Onto this ceiling, the illusion of a night sky was projected."]

The art deco Rialto Cinema (current),
originally the Empire Theatre.

Dunedin street art with a Maori

Part of the Dunedin Street Art Trail:
Untitled by Phlegm.

Chapel Apartments at the foot of View St.

The old Fortune Theater in Dunedin -
professional theater company 1973-2018.

We hiked up View Street. Yes, it's steep!

At the top of View Street, we found all kinds of things. We had a view of the mural below, for one. 

Dunedin Street Art Trail: "Chasing the
Thin White Cloud," by Fintan Magee. 
On the left side of that building,
there is also a mural of a girl.

Looking at the view, we puzzled over the tower in the photo below. What could it be? Our best guess was a weird water tower. But that was not correct. A young bloke was taking his trash out, so I asked him what the tower was. [Side note: I thought I wrote the story the gentleman told me in a Facebook post in December 2023 while it was fresh in my mind. Ha ha, the joke is on me. On Facebook, I wrote, "I will share it when I write my blog."]

Anyway, I couldn't remember the story; but, Bob did. The chimney is attached to the Speights Brewery building. The story goes, in 1938 when the chimney needed to be replaced, the architect added the sketch of the barrel to the plans at the last minute as a joke. The barrel found favor with Hugh Speight, the grandson of the company founder. The company's directors approved this lighthearted display of wit and cleverness.

An interesting fact about the Speights Brewery: It is one of the few surviving gravity breweries in the world. It has a maze of pipework services, lift towers, machine rooms, and cooling evaporators as well as the iconic chimney.

The Speights Brewery is famous for its food and beer, the ambiance, history, the chimney, and tours.

Speights Brewery chimney.

Just one more building to tell you about on this part of our walk: Otago Girls High School. This is the oldest girls' high school in the Southern Hemisphere and is said to be the sixth oldest in the world. It was founded in 1871 and the main building was built in 1910. The architect was Edmund Anscombe who also designed most of the older University of Otago buildings.

Because this old high school building was built of unreinforced masonry with wooden floors, earthquake compliance was a major issue. In the late 1980s, it was decided to retain the facade, but completely gut the structure and build a new building within the existing building.

The technique used to accomplish this was the American development of "shotcreting." The exterior walls and masonry crosswalls were pin-cushioned with reinforcing rods epoxied into the brickwork, faced with a web of reinforcing, and covered with 100-120mm (4" to 4-3/4") concrete fired onto the wall with a pressure gun.
Otago Girls High School facade.

When I started today's blog, I had no idea it would become four parts. There was so much to see and learn. As I researched the buildings, so much interesting information was brought to light that I shared it with y'all. 

Continued in Part 4...

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