By Karen Pasco
If you’ve driven past Sydenham lately you’ll have noticed a change. There’s a new vibrancy and life to the area with new and revitalised retailers, offices and more people enjoying the perked up suburb. What was once a bit of a tired and belittled part of town has been transformed.
It was hit hard in the earthquakes losing some of its iconic heritage buildings and suffered from the shut down of footpaths and roads in the area. Although some of the heritage of the past is now gone, new life is being injected into the area with relocated companies moving into the freshly revamped zone.
Now Sydenham is looking to reinvent itself with a complete rebrand to reflect the alteration the area has undergone. Sydenham Community and Business district chairman and Honeypot Café owner Rob Gould said the rebrand gives the retailers and businesses a chance to re-educate the public about the change.
“We’re wanting to change the perception of Sydenham. It used to have an image of being a not very desirable place – a place people would drive through as quickly as possible on their way to the CBD. But it has changed. There are new businesses, new buildings…and not withstanding the revamp of the mall – as well there’s art work around,” Rob says.
Already the place has picked up considerably; “You only have to try and get a car park at The Colombo to know – that says it all really,” he says. But there is a definite need to attract those from further afield who may have lost the love a little – when it comes to Sydenham.
Facts about Sydenham
- Sydenham was originally part of William Sefton Moorhouse’s farm Spreydon which was subdivided into 50 acre rural lots
- It’s earliest settlers in the 1860s were Lancashire immigrants, labourers or small scale tradesmen who worked in the city
- It was rejected as a part of the Christchurch City Council in 1876 so formed its own borough
- The Sydenham Borough motto was “Deeds not Words”
- The Borough of Sydenham was almalgamated with the city in 1903.