Oamaru encore

This post expands on my last, showing more of the Victorian Precinct in Oamaru, New Zealand.


These are the second and third floors of a large grain store. The elaborate carved decoration around windows and doors projected an air of success and prosperity to the street. The back of the building, which faces the old railyard and harbour, has no decoration at all.


This facade sits to one side of the main precinct and is all that remains of the Northern Hotel. Originally built of Baltic pine in 1860, it was rebuilt in local stone twenty years later. There used to be more of it on the right. It was a social and business hub in its prime, located just across the road from harbour and railway, and it was the terminus for the Dunedin coach. Then the rail station was relocated to the north and the business district followed, leaving the “Northern” marooned at the southern end of town.
The precinct buildings lend themselves to a dramatic monochrome treatment but you have to see them in colour to appreciate the charm of the area.

Street sign on the derelict Victorian era Northern Hotel. Oamaru, New Zealand.

The limestone reflects ambient light and changes from cool white in the shade to yellow in the evening sun. This is a detail on the shadow side of the Northern Hotel.


A boutique shop in the precinct. This one sells second hand “retro” clothes.

The Victorian Precinct, Oamaru, New Zealand.

The Criterion Hotel really “pops” against a blue sky, with direct lighting from the late afternoon sun. Unlike the Northern, the Criterion is still in business. (They didn’t ask me to tell you that.)


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