Saturday, 14 June 2014
A railway station
Our city has some beautiful buildings (I think so anyway) and I thought I would show some of them to you occasionally. Sometimes I think places become so common place when you live with them that you stop seeing them. Below is the Dunedin (Otago, New Zealand) railway station. I heard someone make a derisory remark one day about it looking like it came out of a Disney movie, but I think it is wonderful.
Designed by George Troup and finally completed in 1906 it's built from dark basalt and white Oamaru stone. The pillars in the front are made from pink granite and the roof tiles are terracotta from Marseilles. The style is Flemish renaissance and it has a lovely Flemish garden in the front with seats so you can relax and enjoy.
The working side of the station has a platform which is said to be 1 kilometre long but I'm not sure whether it still is...maybe back in the day. Mind you it certainly feels that length when you are walking it from one end to the other. Unfortunately because of the decline in rail travel the only trains that run from/through here now are excursion trains that leave from the north and south ends of the platform.
This is also where the world famous iD fashion week holds its final shows in March and April every year, the platform becomes the runway. This event draws major fashion designers from all over the world as well as local and national designers.
Every weekend there is a very popular farmers market in the car park at the north end of the station.
Lets go inside for a look where I think it is just as gorgeous. It's very ornate and a real representation of the era in which it was built.
The foyer, looking at the ticket windows and the door through to the booking office. These days the toilets are behind here having been shifted from the opposite side of the foyer.
Looking down from the balcony towards the platform door, with my son and his wife looking back. The floor is a mosaic of 750,000 Minton tiles with the NZR (New Zealand Rail) initials in some squares. There is a nice tearooms and restaurant on the ground floor for a cuppa or a meal if you feel so inclined.
Part of the tile mosaic in the entrance.
Upstairs there are a couple of sets of stained glass windows on opposing walls, and a Royal Doulton tile frieze runs around the walls.
One of the stained glass windows
Up here you can have a browse around a small art gallery or you can have a look around the sports hall of fame if that's what takes your fancy.
It's funny how you take these places for granted, we never had a look around until my son and his wife came over for a holiday from Japan. It was just somewhere we used to commute to and from on schooldays (for my GKB) and work days. It's good to know that it won't slip into disrepair but is still being put to good use today.
This is quite a long post but I hope you have enjoyed it.
See you next time.