Sunday, March 1, 2015

QE Square as it used to be


Anyone remember this? Looking south east across Queen Elizabeth Square showing the Coutts Fountain, the corner of Customs Street, the South Pacific Hotel (far right), the Central Post Office (centre), Endeans building (far left).

"Please acknowledge 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1021-531' when re-using this image." The period is 1980-89.

Looks like an Urban Designer in Auckland City Council tried hard for a while. Even then it was hard to get rid of the cars. They seem to have rights in Auckland that would never be tolerated in other first world cities. In Auckland we celebrate when we share space between pedestrians and cars (like on Princes Wharf and on Queens Wharf and on Queen Elizabeth Square). In Wellington cars were banned from waterfront public spaces almost two decades ago.

4 comments:

ropata said...

I have no idea how waterfront planning works in Auckland. The guys at transportblog think that trading a public space for a monolithic tower and a few pedestrian walkways and shops is a 'win'. Maybe a win for the asset floggers in Council, but another sad day for the waterfront. (Princes wharf is a massive failure and Queens wharf is scarcely better ... both supposedly "public" spaces ruled by motor vehicles and gaudy structures, extremely dangerous for children.)

ropata said...

Hey man, your comment box is mean. It just discarded my comment. Here it is again.

I don't understand Auckland waterfront planning policy... it seems deliberately hostile to making a nice space for the public, instead preferring monolithic towers erected by faceless corporations charging obscene rent for harbour views. Council has sold an irreplaceable public space for a few pieces of silver. That is in keeping with the debacles of Princes wharf and Queens wharf, neither of which are safe for families or any kind of pedestrian. (also, the purpose of Quay street and the wharves is to prioritise a few dozen people in cars while thousands are forced to mill around the fringes._

Louis Catenachio said...

That is not QE Square....it is Lower Queen Street next to what was the Hyatt Hotel. This could be like this again, depending on routing of buses and Light Rail.

Tim Leitch said...

Joel, The red car shown has a sign in the front window and so may have been part of some display. In those years Auckland Council consent was needed to get a vehicle on to the Square as bollards needed to be unlocked and taken out. Apart from that QEII Square was entirely open to the people and was a marvellous open space. More of that is needed in an increasingly congested city, not less.
I worked for many years on the upper floor of Endeans Building.

The sell-off by the current Council is a shocking indictment on the faulty money system that most people tolerate without knowing any better; one which leads to increasing, unrepayable debt. It is not until that defective part of our economic system is reformed that people at large will see any meaningful improvements.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

QE Square as it used to be


Anyone remember this? Looking south east across Queen Elizabeth Square showing the Coutts Fountain, the corner of Customs Street, the South Pacific Hotel (far right), the Central Post Office (centre), Endeans building (far left).

"Please acknowledge 'Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries, 1021-531' when re-using this image." The period is 1980-89.

Looks like an Urban Designer in Auckland City Council tried hard for a while. Even then it was hard to get rid of the cars. They seem to have rights in Auckland that would never be tolerated in other first world cities. In Auckland we celebrate when we share space between pedestrians and cars (like on Princes Wharf and on Queens Wharf and on Queen Elizabeth Square). In Wellington cars were banned from waterfront public spaces almost two decades ago.

4 comments:

ropata said...

I have no idea how waterfront planning works in Auckland. The guys at transportblog think that trading a public space for a monolithic tower and a few pedestrian walkways and shops is a 'win'. Maybe a win for the asset floggers in Council, but another sad day for the waterfront. (Princes wharf is a massive failure and Queens wharf is scarcely better ... both supposedly "public" spaces ruled by motor vehicles and gaudy structures, extremely dangerous for children.)

ropata said...

Hey man, your comment box is mean. It just discarded my comment. Here it is again.

I don't understand Auckland waterfront planning policy... it seems deliberately hostile to making a nice space for the public, instead preferring monolithic towers erected by faceless corporations charging obscene rent for harbour views. Council has sold an irreplaceable public space for a few pieces of silver. That is in keeping with the debacles of Princes wharf and Queens wharf, neither of which are safe for families or any kind of pedestrian. (also, the purpose of Quay street and the wharves is to prioritise a few dozen people in cars while thousands are forced to mill around the fringes._

Louis Catenachio said...

That is not QE Square....it is Lower Queen Street next to what was the Hyatt Hotel. This could be like this again, depending on routing of buses and Light Rail.

Tim Leitch said...

Joel, The red car shown has a sign in the front window and so may have been part of some display. In those years Auckland Council consent was needed to get a vehicle on to the Square as bollards needed to be unlocked and taken out. Apart from that QEII Square was entirely open to the people and was a marvellous open space. More of that is needed in an increasingly congested city, not less.
I worked for many years on the upper floor of Endeans Building.

The sell-off by the current Council is a shocking indictment on the faulty money system that most people tolerate without knowing any better; one which leads to increasing, unrepayable debt. It is not until that defective part of our economic system is reformed that people at large will see any meaningful improvements.