Unlimited Paenga Tawhiti

Historic Faces of Christchurch

Our corner – The Cashel and High Street intersection over time

This corner is a very busy, dynamic area of Christchurch city. It has always been at the heart of our city; a place where people met to exchange information or goods and services. Today this corner is undergoing further change as the city continues to expand and diversify. The city was laid out in a grid pattern with a couple of diagonal streets running through to the Square. High Street was one of those diagonals and where it intersects with Cashel Street is where our school is found. In the 1880s the city’s population was about 51,000, second only to Auckland. Our present population is about 360,500 and growing steadily. Our corner has changed a great deal over time. From being a place where Cobb & Co. horse drawn coaches stopped in the 1880s, it developed by 1913 into one of the busiest intersections for bicycles, trams, and cars.

The corner of Cashel and High Streets ca.1880: Note Cobb & Co. building File Reference: CCL Photo Collection 22, Img00803.

Junction of High & Cashel Streets [1913].

Our corner in the 1940s: The Hallensteins Bros. building (built in the 1920s, demolished in Feb./Apr. 2004) File Reference: CCL PhotoCD 16, IMG0070.

By the 1940s a fountain became a feature of the corner.

Our corner today.

At present our corner is part of a pedestrian mall – the heart of our city – and is a popular gathering place for the young people of our city.

The original buildings bordering the corner have either been modified or replaced with new buildings. These changes can be seen in the series of photos on this page. The City Council plans to revitalise the mall over the next few years by putting in new street furniture and opening the pedestrianised areas up to one-way slow traffic. We wait to see what will happen to our corner over the next year.

© & posted by Jocelyn