Saturday, June 28, 2008

Art Deco Shopping

The Art Deco Shop, Napier. June 2008. Ajr
It’s virtually impossible to visit Napier and not be drawn in to the whole Art Deco thing; and to get the best overview, you really need to start at The Art Deco Shop – which fittingly reflects its Art Deco neighbours in its front window. It’s from here that a whole set of terrific Art Deco Walking Tours set off – bus or vintage car if you’d rather, guided or self-guided if you’d prefer. Over 23,000 people do the guided Art Deco walk each year, learning everything there is to know about the massive earthquake that shook the Hawke’s Bay in 1931, destroying the heart of Napier, damaging over 200 buildings in Hastings and killing 256 people. Within two years of that disaster, Napier and Hastings had been rebuilt in the distinctive Art Deco, Spanish Mission, Stripped Classical and Prairie style architecture that it is now so famous for. The Art Deco here is unique for its inclusion of Maori motifs and the influence of Frank Lloyd Wright and the Chicago School in the work of local architect, Louis Hay.

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