February 3, 1931, 10.47 am: The lives of the citizen of Napier changed forever. The city was leveled by a catastrophic earthquake with 7,9 on the Richter scale. The town and their surroundings got almost completely destroyed. The inhabitants of Napier did not know that the choices they would make from that day forward, would elevate Napier from an idyllic coastal New Zealand town to a world renowned, architectural, cultural and historical Mecca for Art Deco.
„There have been 4 Napier architects, who chose 4 different styles“, says Art Deco Guide Pamela. Indeed, Louis Hay, E. A. Williams, Natush & Sons, and Finch & Westerman influenced the future of the city. They applied 4 architecture styles on the reconstruction of the city: Prairie Style, Art Deco Style, Spanish Mission Style and Stripped Classical Style.
These days in February Napier will once again be transported back to the Art Deco era of the 1920s and 1930s, celebrating its unique heritage, as well as fashion, music, art, cars and this incredible charm that made the Art Deco era so special.
There will be a Depression Dinner, a Ruby Room Cabaret, the Gatsby Picnic, a unbelievable Prohibition Party, Vintage dance lessons including 1920s Charleston, a Vintage car parade with pre 1946 criteria applied, the Gatsby Tea Dance, and, and, and … Beautiful people in costumes and coiffure of those times will wandering along the streets. Foxtrott on the footpath, quickstep on the cobbles, ragtime on the road, tango on the tarmac and black bottom in the boulevard, as well as a Deco dog parade.
Enjoy the journey through time with my pictures of Napiers Art Deco World.
Napier’s Winter Art Deco Weekend: July 14 – 16, 2017
Art Deco Festival 2018: February 14 – 18, 2018