Saturday, September 25, 2010

Nearly there, there

Aotea Square is nearly finished—again. After more than a year, strengthening the carpark under the square and completely redeveloping the square on top of it all, work is nearly complete.

Yesterday, I was in the Auckland CBD and stopped by to have a look. The photo above, taken at the pointy end of the Auckland Town Hall, looks toward the spire of St. Matthew in the City, across the chain link fences that hem in the empty, nearly complete redevelopment. Out of shot to the left, workers were unrolling grass. (click on the photo for a clearer view; I don't have the new Blogger editing tools worked out yet).

At the right edge of the photo, seen edge on, is the restored wooden archway that frankly had become ugly before the restoration. Out of shot at right is the statue of Auckland Mayor Dove-Myers Robinson (“Robbie”), who opened the original Aotea Square in 1979 (and was one of the city’s most popular mayors). That statue was wrapped up in blue plastic, since the Square isn’t open yet.

Still, a lot of public access has been restored: It’s possible to walk the entire perimeter of the Square again, and at the right side of the photo you can see people sitting on benches in front of the SkyCity Metro complex.

By way of comparison, I took the photo below in October of last year, on another day I visited the CBD. It looks in basically the same direction as yesterday’s photo.

Soon the Square will be officially re-opened, right before the current Auckland City is subsumed into the new Auckland “super city”. The new Aotea Square should become a vibrant centre for the new, merged city. I’ll go back this summer to take some more photos of the finished—and occupied—Square.

No comments: