Arts Centre

sights / Historic

Lonely Planet review

This precinct is currently closed, pending strengthening and repairs estimated to cost $240 million. An enclave of Gothic Revival buildings (built from 1877), it was the original site of Canterbury College, which later became Canterbury University. One graduate of the college was Sir Ernest Rutherford, the NZ-born physicist who first split the atom in 1917. Before the earthquakes, the Arts Centre was a popular cultural precinct comprising artists' studios and galleries, weekend craft markets, restaurants and cinemas. One business still operating from a modern building within the Arts Centre is the excellent Canterbury Cheesemongers .