Sydenham, New Zealand

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Sydenham
The historic Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church prior to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
The historic Sydenham Post Office and the Sydenham Heritage Church prior to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake
Sydenham is located in Christchurch, New Zealand
Sydenham
Sydenham
Coordinates: 43°33′S 172°38′E / 43.550°S 172.633°E / -43.550; 172.633Coordinates: 43°33′S 172°38′E / 43.550°S 172.633°E / -43.550; 172.633
CountryNew Zealand
CityChristchurch
Local authorityChristchurch City Council
Electoral wardCentral and Heathcote[1]
Area
 • Land273 ha (675 acres)
Population
 (2018)[2]
 • Total6,243
Christchurch Central City
Addington
Sydenham
Waltham
Spreydon Beckenham St Martins

Sydenham is an inner suburb of Christchurch, New Zealand, two kilometres south of the city centre, on and around the city's main street, Colombo Street. It is a residential, retail and light industrial suburb.

History[edit]

Sydenham Heritage Church after demolition, with the Post Office in the background

While the Sydenham area had seen development from the earliest days of European settlement in Christchurch, it was originally split between the Heathcote and Spreydon road districts instead of being a locality of its own right. The name Sydenham originally referred only to "Sydenham House", a crockery and china shop in the area so named by its owner, Charles Prince, after the north-west Kent town of Sydenham, which is now a London suburb within the London Borough of Lewisham.[3][4] At a meeting regarding the formation of a borough council for the area, brought on by growth in the area, surveyor and future mayor Charles Allison advocated for the area to be named Sydenham, after the shop.[5] The name was agreed upon, and Sydenham Borough Council came into existence in 1876. The first council and its mayor, George Booth, were elected in 1877.[6] The population of the borough around this time was between five and six thousand, a number which doubled by the end of the 19th century, making it among the largest boroughs in New Zealand at the time.[7]

Sydenham quickly flourished as a suburb. By 1902, the population of the suburb had more than doubled since its formation, making it the largest borough in New Zealand.[6] It had roughly 2500 buildings with a combined value of roughly one million pounds, 26 miles (42 km) of roads, and 95 gas lamps for street lighting. On 31 March 1903, the borough amalgamated with the City of Christchurch and became a suburb. At that time Sydenham already had its own swimming-baths, fire-engine, cemetery and recreation grounds.[8]

The shopping precinct located on Colombo Street was badly affected by the 2010 and 2011 Christchurch earthquakes with many commercial buildings demolished. Approximately 35 sites lost buildings.[9]

The Christchurch City Council produced a master plan in 2012 for redeveloping Sydenham after the earthquakes.[10]

The business district located south of Moorhouse Avenue was nicknamed "SoMo" by Lonely Planet in 2012. [11]

There were around 800 businesses employing 5000 people in Sydenham in 2013. The business precinct had branded itself as "Sydenham Quarter".[12] This marketing campaign was part of the Sydenham master plan.[13]

The Sydenham school site surrounded by Colombo, Brougham, Buchan and Waverley streets was purchased by the New Zealand Government from the Christchurch City Council for $4.5 million dollars in 2015. This was then sold to Fletchers who built 76 terrace style houses on the site and named the development "350 Colombo".[14]

Geography[edit]

Entrance to Sydenham in December 2011, with the Heritage Church and the Post Office after demolition

Sydenham is located near the centre of Christchurch, and is separated from the central city by the South Island Main Trunk Railway and Moorhouse Avenue. State Highway 76 runs through the middle of Sydenham before connecting to the Christchurch Southern Motorway in the neighbouring suburb of Spreydon to the west. A number of suburbs are located to the south of Sydenham at the base of the Port Hills, including Somerfield, Beckenham and Cashmere. To the east, Sydenham is separated from neighbouring St Martins by the Ōpāwaho / Heathcote River, and from Waltham by Waltham Road.

Economy[edit]

The Colombo[edit]

The Colombo shopping centre is a shopping centre in Sydenham.[15] It has 44 tenants, including the Academy Gold Cinema.[16] In July 2020, Christchurch-based retail chain Smiths City moved its flagship store to The Colombo centre.[17]

Restaurants[edit]

There are many restaurants and takeaway food establishments on Colombo Street.

Art district[edit]

There is a vibrant art district in Sydenham with at least five art galleries located in Sydenham. These include Chambers Art Gallery, Jonathan Smart Gallery, Fiksate Studio & Gallery, Form Gallery, City Art Depot, and NZ Art Broker. Buildings feature street art works and many public art events have been held in Sydenham.[18] As part of the Sydenham master plan, artwork was installed on Colombo street as a gateway into Sydenham.[13]

Education[edit]

Sydenham School, on the corner of Brougham and Colombo Streets, was first opened in 1872 and known as Colombo Road School. The land cost one hundred pounds to purchase and a further 862 pounds to build the school. By March 1873, there were almost 400 children enrolled. The school was renamed Sydenham school in 1880. At one stage it was the largest school in New Zealand. The school was closed in December 2000.[19][20]

In 2021, There were no primary or secondary schools within the suburb of Sydenham. Somerfield School takes students to the west of Colombo Street and south of Brougham Street.[21] Waltham School takes students to the east of Colombo Street and south of Moorhouse Avenue.[22] Addington School takes students to the west of Colombo Street and to the north of Somerfield school's zone.[23] Beckenham School takes students to the east of Colombo Street and south of King and Huxley Streets.[24]

Heritage buildings[edit]

Sydenham has a number of heritage buildings registered by Heritage New Zealand, with some already lost or to be lost due to the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake. The New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Woolstore in Durham Street is the only Category I heritage building.[25] Coming from the south, the Sydenham Post Office[26] and the Sydenham Heritage Church formed an entry into the strip shopping area along Colombo Street, but the church was controversially demolished shortly after the February earthquake.[27]

Nazareth House Chapel is located west of Sydenham Park and belongs to a retirement village.[28] Blackheath Place are residential brick terrace houses that are rather uncommon in New Zealand.[29] Three registered cottages are located in Shelley and Tennyson Streets.[30][31][32]

This historic cottage is typical of settler housing in Sydenham Christchurch. It was built in 1876 from totara.

Sporting teams[edit]

Sydenham Park is public open space that also acts as the home ground for Sydenham Cricket Club, Sydenham Hockey Club and Sydenham Rugby Club. All three clubs have provided players for their respective New Zealand teams. These including Stephen Fleming for cricket, John Radovonich for hockey and Charlie Oliver for rugby union. Ben Stokes, the English cricketer spent time in 2020 working with the Sydenham Cricket Club.[33]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Wards, Councillors and Community Boards map". ccc.govt.nz. Christchurch City Council. Retrieved 14 August 2020.
  2. ^ a b The population and area are the sum of the population and area in statistical areas of Sydenham Central, Sydenham North,Sydenham West, and Sydenham South
  3. ^ Reed, A. W. (2010). Peter Dowling (ed.). Place Names of New Zealand. Rosedale, North Shore: Raupo. pp. 380f. ISBN 978-0-14-320410-7.
  4. ^ Harper, Margaret (July 2011). "Christchurch Place Names" (PDF). Christchurch City Libraries. pp. 211f. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  5. ^ "Sydenham and Waltham Joined The Greater Christchurch – 1st April 1903". Peeling Back History. 1 April 1903. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  6. ^ a b Cyclopedia Company Limited (1903). "Sydenham". The Cyclopedia of New Zealand : Canterbury Provincial District. Christchurch: The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  7. ^ "History of Sydenham". SYDM QTR. Retrieved 13 December 2020.
  8. ^ Sydenham : the model borough of old Christchurch : an informal history. New Zealand Federation of University Women, Canterbury Branch. 1977. pp. 19–33.
  9. ^ "Christchurch's Sydenham rising from the rubble, but has its master plan helped?". Stuff. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  10. ^ "Sydenham Master Plan". ccc.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  11. ^ "Christchurch's Sydenham rising from the rubble, but has its master plan helped?". Stuff. 28 April 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  12. ^ "Sydenham getting a gradual facelift". Stuff. 26 May 2013. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  13. ^ a b "Sydenham Master Plan". ccc.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  14. ^ "Apartments downsized on Crown-Fletcher Christchurch housing project". Stuff. 22 October 2017. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  15. ^ McDonald, Liz (1 February 2019). "Transformed Colombo mall for sale". stuff.co.nz. Christchurch Press.
  16. ^ "Stores – The Colombo". thecolombo.co.nz. The Colombo.
  17. ^ "New home for Smiths City's flagship store". Otago Daily Times. Christchurch Star. 22 July 2020.
  18. ^ "Sydenham: Christchurch's best-kept arts secret". Stuff. 31 July 2017. Retrieved 22 May 2021.
  19. ^ Haywood, Dorothy. "Sydenham School, Sydenham". ketechristchurch.peoplesnetworknz.info. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  20. ^ "Closure of Sydenham School (3548), Christchurch – 2000-go9335 – New Zealand Gazette". gazette.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  21. ^ Counts, Education. "Ministry of Education – Education Counts". www.educationcounts.govt.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  22. ^ "Waltham Primary School – Enrolment". www.waltham.school.nz. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  23. ^ "Enrolment Zone". addington-school. Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  24. ^ "Enrol – Beckenham Te Kura o Pūroto". Retrieved 23 May 2021.
  25. ^ "New Zealand Loan and Mercantile Woolstore". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  26. ^ "Sydenham Post Office Building". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  27. ^ "Unauthorised church wreckers face prosecution". The Press. 4 March 2011. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  28. ^ "Nazareth House Chapel". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  29. ^ "Blackheath Place". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  30. ^ "Cottage". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  31. ^ "Cottage". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  32. ^ "House". Register of Historic Places. Heritage New Zealand. Retrieved 1 October 2011.
  33. ^ "England cricketer Ben Stokes helping Christchurch club ahead of summer". Stuff. 24 September 2020. Retrieved 23 May 2021.