Having lived in the CBD on and off since I was 18 years old (I spent 2 years in Auckland but otherwise within the four Aves), it breaks my heart to see what has been taken away culturally as architecture.
There are many I know very well but probably more I had taken less notice of while going about my days and nights in Otautahi. The sheer numbers of beautiful buildings gone will affect many deeply. Our past and present architects of a particular nature are whom I am thinking of, not the 'Service Providers' as I have been informed we so often find on the surface these days... you just can't seem to talk art history, architectural history, human, spatial needs with these people and it makes me want to send up flares for urgent rescue.
Thinking nostalgically of local architecture, roof climbing was an especially fun pastime as a young one – looking, climbing, stretching, risking, walking entire blocks across the low running skyline. Cashel St Mall was a casual wander and on weekends always interesting. The Cashel St Chambers building with all its artist studios made for good fare, Colombo St could be interesting but you had to be mindful of older less well-kept roofs, and the old Star building was a regular spot to people gaze while working at Caffiends Café (this also lead to easy access to inside The Savoy when it shut down). I liked navigating rusty old corrugated iron and plateaus of tar-matted roofs in the wee hours always bought about a rush of excited adrenaline. Wet surfaces were foolishly dangerous to crawl across looking back... but the views were compelling as you can imagine, re-discovering your home town one rooftop after another. The Farmers rooftop playground was particularly cool as it had fibreglass animals and a miniature train set you could spread yourself out across and enjoy the surreal vista beyond the night-time silhouette of a sleeping tiger and train, a slide or was that a giraffe?
While we had it quietly to ourselves I doubt we left a footprint, respectfully coming and going and making sure it was exactly as it was at time of arrival. But don't take my misty-eyed word for it, here is another image of to the actual playground, as it was upon the Hay's building, that later ended up stored up on Farmers.