Saturday, March 14, 2009

Marine Parade, Napier

New Napier Arch, NapierWhen Napier was rebuilt after the 1931 earthquake, The Marine Parade area was developed as an outdoor entertainment area.

The Council Architect, J T Watson designed the New Napier Arch (right) in 1938 as a celebration of the new city. Located opposite the Masonic Hotel and the war memorial it marks the entrance to the Marine Parade Gardens.

Watson also designed the Soundshell which sits in the place where local architect Louis Hay had proposed an ambitious Entertainment Centre that straddled Marine Parade. Peter Shaw & Peter Hallett have reproduced the watercolour rendered drawing of the proposed centre in their wonderful book Art Deco Napier - Styles of the Thirties.

Sound Shell, Napier

The concrete area in front of the shell was once an ice skating rink and the somewhat faded art deco zig-zag design of inlaid concrete that surrounded it can still be seen (at least in 1999 it was still visible).

Zig-Zag Concrete, Napier

It must have been amazing in the 1930s.


  1. A beautiful city then and still an amazing place today. Many families enjoy the entertainment which is held there on many occassions. Keep up the good work Napier, we are proud of you.

    1. A statement from the New Zealand Tourist Board perhaps ... LOL