Then and Now: Trafalgar Street

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Nelson’s own terminating vista, Christ Church Cathedral, sits prominent at the end of Trafalgar Street but what you see today is relatively new.

Work started on the current Cathedral in 1925 and was completed in 1965. An earlier cathedral, built in 1887, was constructed on the current site.

An earthquake in 1893 caused damage to the earlier building and the spire and tower were later removed in 1916 due to concerns from the public over the safety of the building. The above image shows the cathedral after the spire and tower were taken down.

On the left of the photo is the Trafalgar Hotel, now TSB bank, and on the right is Dee & Sons, now the Vodafone store. Cars shared the road with horses and carts and bicycles.

This photo was taken by Frederick Nelson, one of New Zealand’s first photojournalists. He recorded many Nelson events and was often seen on a three-legged ladder taking photos.

Not only was Frederick a photographer but also a saddler, an inventor, a mechanical musical box collector, an amusement park owner, a show organiser and owned several monkeys.

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