Where in the world are we this week?
Last week we were in Napier, New Zealand, correctly identified by Margaret Rose at her blog and the monochrome did not fool her. She did have a little help from me and google!!
Napier is a town that is pure ‘Art Deco’. After a devastating earthquake that leveled most of the town, in 1931, Napier was re-built in the architectural style predominant in that time. That was Art Deco.
“Rivalled only by Miami beachfront’s Streamline Moderne, it is the most comprehensive Art Deco styled town in the world. In 1931 a 7.8 on the Richter scale earthquake hit just 15km north of Napier. Lasting two and a half minutes, it destroyed much of the town, and the ensuing fires levelled the rest of the town centre. Development anywhere in the world at this time was rare due to the Great Depression, however Napier was all but wiped of the map and had to be rebuilt from scratch. By the end of the 1930s, Napier was the newest city on the planet.
Other period styles such as Spanish Mission and Stripped Classical were also tested and mixed in. Notable Architect J. A. Louis Hay also experimented with the palette of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Prairie Style.
Every February, thousands of people flock to Napier to celebrate the Art Deco Weekend Summer Festival, sending the township back to a time of new hope. The Festival celebrates the reconstruction of Napier City after a devastating earthquake in 1931. Music, performers, dancing in the street; trains, planes and automobiles; picnics, galas and frivolity in true vintage style bring the 1930s back to life.”
This reminds me of how the town of Ålesund in Norway was rebuilt, after a great fire ravaged the town and the whole country galvanised into a land army and constructed a new town on the site in Art Nouveau style, inadvertantly creating a major tourist attraction for years to come. And so, is Napier, New Zealand. How to turn a negative into a postive!
From adversity comes opportunity. Something to Ponder about.