Monday, June 21, 2010

Save the world: Do up old houses
In 1970s when I arrived in Auckland, I lived at Grey lynn. Next to her, was Ponsonby. When the city council built the motorway, these two suburbs became slums with people living on the fringe, students and Polynesian migrants as the rental was cheap. Houses were run down, gardens were like bush.

However, in the 80s, because of the close proximity to inner city, just 2 km west of the Auckland CBD, people started buying up these old houses. It became trendy and the poor people had to move out as they couldn't afford the increase rental.

It is now a predominantly upper-middle class residential suburb. Ponsonby today is also known in Auckland for its fine dining and shopping establishments - many restaurants, cafes, art galleries, up-market shops and nightclubs are located along Ponsonby Road.

I joke with friends that I used to live in Grey Lynn and walk past Ponsonby to go to university. Then of course, I tell them it was the old Grey Lynn that I lived in.

Many of the houses are restored. Here is a row of houses which to me is so narrow that it looks like a row of match boxes. I won't live here, but then, I am not in the yuppy trendy crowd.

This is one fine example of saving the houses and not letting a suburb to turn to a ghetto. Many people also walk to work, thus saving on petrol, and causing less carbon footprint and carbon emission.

They have a very good school, St Mary's college , St Mary’s College has always had an excellent academic record and high achievement in Music and Sport. Its musical tradition goes back to the 1860’s. During the 20th Century, under the outstanding direction of the late Dame Sister Mary Leo, the school produced many singers of international fame, notably Dame Kiri Te Kanawa and Mina Foley.


Dar said...

Always good to see improvements, no matter the reason...home restoration has been part of my entire life...and the kids think we need more improvements but until they are ready to give up some time from their busy lives, it ain't happnin'... the folks are retiring and going south.

peteformation said...

Good to restore old housed. Most people would knock down the whole old house when they took over.....lots of wastage.

Ensurai said...

Lovely...same question - why are so many houses painted blue?

Nice to know that lots of people can renovate and maintain good old houses....

Diane AZ said...

Interesting history of the neighborhood you once lived in. Nice to see the houses fixed up. They are packed together very close though.

Jama said...

I love seeing restored home, a good way to preserved the history behind it's beauty. I wouldn't mind staying in those home if I have deeper pocket.