Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Dunedin railway station

While down in Dunedin recently for work, I had a bit of spare time on my hands, so I pottered about like a tourist.

Rumour has it that the railway station is the most photographed building in New Zealand. It is certainly stylish in an apparently revived Flemish renaissance style. Its contrasting dark basalt, creamy Oamaru stone and pink granite give it a distinctive fa├žade, and the neat gardens that surround it set it off nicely.

At a kilometer in length, the platform is the longest in the country and the fashion parade that takes place every year along it claims to perform on the world’s longest catwalk. The 37-metre clock-tower is a Dunedin icon, and can be seen from almost everywhere around town.

Joseph Ward both laid the foundation stone in 1904 and opened the station in 1906. It was built on time and within budget – those days are long gone.

In the booking hall, the closed ticket booths monitor the mosaic floor comprised of approximately 750,000 glass tiles from Minton.

The floor subsided and was entirely rebuilt in 1966 – original pieces of the floor are displayed in the Otago Settlers Museum. I know because I went there too.

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