November 29, 2012 … I think that I shall never see*

Contemplating a special tree seemed appropriate.

The hoop-la associated with the Hobbit premiere was happening in the city and I made a conscious choice to stay away. As I parked in the grounds of St James Church behind the Lower Hutt Library, I remembered the two trees between the car park and the church  have always been rather special. They are golden elms, and in my opinion, are worthy of an honoured place in Rivendell or Gondor.

A tree surpassing any poemFrom the first green of spring until the bare branches of winter these are magnificent trees and I must check with the city council to see whether they are on the register of protected trees.

From there, picking up on the suggestion of my longtime correspondent Pam, in Switzerland, I decided to look at a few of the angles of Lower Hutt City.

Honesty requires the admission that this is not a spectacular city. It is Wellington’s dormitory. It has few public buildings of real architectural merit.  For a while, back in the 1950s some work was done with reinforced concrete structures that was good for its time, but which is no longer as appealing as it was back then. There can be a fine line between clean minimalist architecture, and the graceless totalitarian military look. In my opinion, the Lower Hutt War Memorial Library and the associated Little Theatre just scrape on to the positive side of that balance.Post war minimalism --- the Little Theatre

Previously I have lamented the slow death of High Street and Queens Drive caused by the glittering attractions of the modern mall nearby.  Historic photographs show a bustling main street with many fine buildings of which the citizenry were justly proud.

If you look behind the sad neon, the faded billboards and the for sale signs, the skeleton of the old days is still there, but crumbling fast. One prominent building which survives for now, is the old art deco styled Post Office building on the corner of High St and Andrews Avenue.

Once the regional headquarters when “post” included phones and telegraph, it is now deemed an earthquake risk, and has been vacated by NZ Post, though other tenants have chosen to remain. The most prominent tenant on the corner is Cash Converters, the modern-day descendant of a pawn shop. I don’t think they actually “pawn” goods, but my perception is that they pay low and sell high. How could you go wrong?The old Post Office building on High Street


My last building of the day is also subject to seismic hazard … the Town Hall and Civic buildings are being temporarily vacated pending strengthening work.

Lower Hutt Civic CentreBehind the civic buildings is the lovely Riddiford Gardens and the Library which brings us back to the start point of today’s adventure.

The next instalment will come to you from an apparently chilly Invercargill.

* “… a poem lovely as a tree”  Trees, by Joyce Kilmer



About wysiwygpurple

Retirement suits me well. I spend much of my time out making pictures, or at home organizing and refining my pictures. This blog provides me with a platform from which I can indulge my passion for improving my photography and at the same time analyze my thoughts about what I have seen, where I have been and what is happening in my life. My images set out to be honest, but that does not mean I have not adjusted them. I use software to display what I saw though the viewfinder to best advantage. My preference is for landscape and nature, and is mostly centred around my hometown of Wellington, New Zealand.
This entry was posted in Architecture, Invercargill, Light, Lower Hutt, Trees. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to November 29, 2012 … I think that I shall never see*

  1. Hi Brian,
    Thank you for the shots around downtown Lower Hutt. It is always interesting see whats new or old come to life. Having lived in the Hutt Valley (Belmont) for 27 years and then emigrating to Canada in 1959 you see how much has changed in 53 years. The Civic Center,Riddiford Park and the Tree behind St James Church. I was christened in the old church. The old Post Office and I still remember the “old” Post Office with the clock tower which on the corner of Langs Road and High Street. It all brings back memories. I also loved the night shot of the Harbour, Eastbourne and Hutt Valley. Keep up the good work. For me it is a connection to the past.

  2. Pam Rothschild says:

    Thank you for the blue sky and memory trip around LH. I remember it all well especially the library and the church from Girl Guide days, The golden elm is glorious and hte phot is superb, I am not a judge in a competition but I love it. Dear old LH has lots its soul, it makes me sad when I see it empty, maybe a new Mayor could bring it back to life one day, I do hope so it was such a busy place. Thanks again.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s