Cuba Quarter Buildings

Nice break at a remote beach has produced some sketches of early 20thC Edwardian (mostly) buildings in the Cuba Quarter of downtown Wellington, New Zealand, plus 6 in other parts of the City.

These Cuba Quarter buildings have survived (usual?) inner city changes –
– In the early 1900s, mainly working residential with horse-drawn trams – then steam trams to the top of Cuba Street and light commerce (eg Hannahs shoes):
– By the 30s, more conversions of residential to retail/light industry art deco add-ons and electric trams, less suburb, more city:
– Gradual decline and under-maintenance to the 60s and the end of the trams:
– In the late 60s, a fresh start with the street closed/pedestrian mall (1st in NZ),  chain stores and new retail:
– Ongoing renewal, alternative retail and gentrification nowdays – many more apartments and a healthy cafe/entertainment scene.
All dressed in fashions of the day with values held in check by perceived earthquake risks. It’s hard to envisage another decline from here, but then again they likely thought that in the 1900s.

Few buildings higher than 4 levels. Remarkable that several classic NZ colonial 2 level wooden bungalows have survived all that redevelopment.

Inks, charcoal, pencils on A4 paper


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