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Palmerston North City Council
Cuba Street, 256
‘The Arcade’, (now Mr Models shop)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
253 square metres more or less
Lot 8 DP 2639
WN9A/721 (1971), prior CTs: WN640/62
(1955), WN214/247 (1912), WN17/96
(1879)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1906
E. Larcomb
Thomas Martyn Holland
Messrs Sollitt Bros.
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
In light of its location opposite the Cosmopolitan Club building (1928) and
that club’s previous site (from 1904, then called the Working Men’s Club),
now occupied by the Oroua building, this building’s story also involves the
story of the land it stands on. Its close proximity to the fire station at the
time of so many fires in this block, also has value in terms of the overall
study. This building has strong ties to one of Palmerston North’s earliest
businesses through the repeated appearances of the old Ready Money
Store and its successor the United Farmers’ Co-operative Association in
the backgrounds of its owners and their businesses. In the latter case,
these businesses were The Wellington and Manawatu Hardware Co.,
Messrs J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd., and Watson Bros. The latter business was a
well-known grocery chain that to date has been by far the longest occupier
of this building – at almost five decades. For many years it was also
identified with well-known photographer Joe Sing.
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Palmerston North City Council
Prior History
The land in the vicinity of this building was leased from the Palmerston
North Borough/City Council for many years, having been granted as a
public reserve to the Mayor, Councillors and Burgesses of the Borough of
Palmerston North in 1879.228 Although the wider land aspect has not been
researched for this study, it is noteworthy that it stretched between
Coleman Place and Cuba Street, and that two buildings covered in this
study (this building and its Cooee Drycleaners neighbour) were built on
long-term leasehold sections within this block. This building’s site was
finally sold in 1971, while the Cooee Drycleaners shop’s site was sold in
1983.
The original Palmerston North Fire Station also operated from a Coleman
Place section that was part of this land. It was based there from the late
1880s and until 1910, when a new fire station was built in elsewhere in
Cuba Street. The old fire station was then reversed onto the section
directly behind its original site – the original back wall of the building now
facing Cuba Street, as indicated by its silhouette on a 1912 plan showing
its external staircase still protruding on its eastern side. This made it the
immediate neighbour of the ‘old’ RSA building, although that building was
not built until 1917. The former fire station was itself damaged by fire in
1927 and it was then demolished.229
The Working Men’s Club c1894-1904
In 1894, the Working Men’s Club leased the previous building on this site,
after the club’s original building on the corner of King and Rangitikei
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Streets was destroyed by fire. The club then attempted to buy the building,
however, the Borough Council, who presumably owned that building, did
not think the offer high enough, and so it lapsed. As a result, the Working
Men’s Club (later renamed the Cosmopolitan Club) built new clubrooms
across the road on the site now occupied by the Oroua Building. These
were officially opened on 30 November 1904.230
CT WN17/96 records the transfer of the lease on the property to John
Hood and William Parkes, starting 9 May 1894 and for a period of ten
years. In 1897, William Samuel Gardener’s name joined the other two.
Then in 1900, William Bayley Hawkins and William Parkes renewed the
lease for a 21-year term, starting 1 May 1900. The lease was then
transferred from them to Ernest Stevenson in May 1905 – presumably
marking the departure of the Working Men’s Club. The significance of
these men (Hood, Parkes, Gardener and Hawkins) to the club was not
researched, but in the case of the club’s next building, the land (i.e. as
recorded on its CT) was for a time in the name of individuals as trustees.
The CT indicates that Ernest Stevenson’s lease was then transferred, on
the same date it was issued to him (12 May 1905), to Thomas Martyn
Holland, who the 1905-6 local Electoral Roll describes as a settler of Fritz
Street (now Russell Street). The 1906 Wises Directory gives his
occupation as a farmer of Fritz Street.231 In the period after the Working
Men’s Club relocated, their old building seems to have been used for a mix
of accommodation, storage, billiard saloon, performing arts and retail.
Holland’s use of the building might, therefore, simply have been as a
rental.
228
This is from CT WN17/96 (1879) and much credit goes to some Victoria
University students who, in 1980, tackled the daunting task of unscrambling the
highly complex collection of lease and land ownership changes on the land in the
Cuba, George, Coleman, Square, Rangitikei city block. Ref: Research file
A175/154, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.
229
The subdivision plan for DP2639, October 1912 (Source: CT WN9A/721); also,
notes by Ian Matheson dated 20 March 1970 on the back of photo F8, (of the Fire
Station in 1901), in the PN Photographic Collection, PN City Library.
230
Centennial Committee, Palmerston North Cosmopolitan Club – Centennial: A
recorded history of the club 1889-1989 (Palmerston North, 1989), p. 21
The 1905-6 PN Electoral Roll records his name as Thomas “Martyn” Holland,
whereas the CT spells his second name as “Marlyn. The 1906 Wise’s Directory
uses the spelling “Martin”, therefore I have chosen to use “Martyn” - VB
231
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Palmerston North City Council
It was the fire of 16 August 1905 that ultimately led to the present
building’s existence. On that date, the Manawatu Evening Standard
recorded that:
At 1:30am this morning the two-storied building in Cuba
Street, until recently occupied by the Working Men’s Club, was
practically destroyed by fire. When discovered the flames had got a
good hold on the building, which was very ancient, and the fire
made rapid progress. In a few minutes the flames broke out in high
volumes from the front portion of the building, and it was very
apparent that despite the good work the brigade was doing at this
stage, the building was doomed. However, as a result of the
strenuous efforts the fire was practically confined to the top storey,
which was destroyed. The bedrooms on that floor was the centre of
the outbreak and their contents were entirely burnt.
Some apprehension existed last night as to the fate of the
three young ladies – Misses Culling (2) and Johnstone – who
occupied bedrooms upstairs, but, subsequently, it was ascertained
that they were out of town. Mr J. Graham (sic) also occupied a room
upstairs. He was awakened by the smoke and got out just in time.
The billiard table on the ground floor was not burnt, but the cloth has
been entirely ruined by water. Miss Culling lost a piano and the
major portion of her wearing apparel. Her jewellery was found in her
room this morning and placed in safe custody. A couple of pet dogs
she had shut in her room were burnt.
The Salvage Corps was quickly on the scene and did good
work removing property, all Mr Robertson’s plant being got away
with the exception of about £2 worth Mr Leigh’s books were
scorched badly and a lot of documents were destroyed.
The building was tenanted by Mr J. Graham, electrician;
Beattie, Lang & Co., who had Gilruth stock foods and sundries
stored there; Nott, billiard saloon keeper; Leigh & Co., land agents;
Robertson, watchmaker; and Miss Culling, teacher of dancing and
Sandow exercises. Mr Graham’s stock was valued at £300 and was
insured for £200 in the Widows’ Fund office; Beattie, Lang & Co.,
£100 in the National office, fully covered; and Nott, billiard table,
£100, Commercial Union.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The building was insured for £400 in the Standard office
and £100 in an insurance office the name of which is not yet
ascertainable. It is owned by Mr H. Holland (sic), who is a heavy
loser. The building, if too much destroyed to be rebuilt in wood, will
have to be constructed in brick, being within the brick area.
Miss Culling suffered a severe loss in the destruction of all
her property, valued at between $70 and $80. There is no insurance
on her property.232
The Manawatu Daily Times, published on the morning of the fire, added
that the fire had begun at the back of the building and worked forward,
bursting through the roof as the fire brigade arrived. A man in his pyjamas
(Graham) suddenly emerged through a window and scurried down the fire
escape. At first it was thought the three girls (Misses Johnstone and
Culling, and Birdie Culling) were still inside, and one of their bedrooms,
which overlooked Cuba Street, was already engulfed. A ladder was found
and Mr Graham seriously risked his life to go back inside to check.
However, the girls were in Pohangina at the time.233
By the following day, the building’s damage was perceived by the Evening
Standard’s reporter as being so bad that it would probably be a waste of
money to patch it up. The centre of the building was practically destroyed,
and the fire had burnt through one side and part of the roof. The building
would probably, therefore, be rebuilt of brick.234
Meanwhile in the same edition, Mr B.F. Graham “(late of Graham &
Gorrie)”, an electrical engineer, had advertised that he was working out of
the old Working Men’s Club buildings, and had just received “a large
consignment of Pherophones. A marvel of simplicity. No office or factory
complete without one.” Electric lighting was his speciality, and he had a
232
Manawatu Evening Standard, 16 August 1905 5(2). “Nott” referred to was B.L.
Nott, who subsequently took over the Family Hotel in Rangitikei Street (Manawatu
Daily Times 29 September 1905 1(3)
233
Manawatu Daily Times 16 August 1905 3(1)
234
Manawatu Evening Standard, 17 August 1905, 5(1)
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Palmerston North City Council
large stock of electrical appliances always on hand – well he did until the
fire anyway. Graham’s advert is noteworthy, as this was still nineteen
years before the Palmerston North Electric Power Station generated the
town’s first public electricity supply. Graham’s clientele would, therefore,
have been the owners of private electricity generator sets around the
district.235
One of the affected parties, J. Robertson, wrote a letter to the Manawatu
Daily Times, thanking the “newly formed Fire Police” for their services in
securing the scene, crowd management, and their work salvaging goods
that survived the fire. This had been the first occasion when the Fire Police
had been called upon to act. He felt that his losses would have been far
greater without the help of this “body of men whose integrity is
undoubtedly one of the greatest value in conducting salving operations.”
Although the Fire Police/Salvage Corps have not been researched, it is
likely the group were formed after the severe pilfering that occurred after
the major Clarendon Hotel fire the previous year, especially in relation to
Arthur Hopwood’s otherwise largely undamaged shop.236
This Building
The insurance companies’ ‘replace with wood’ idea was soon amended to
‘replace with brick’, probably because the site was “within the brick area”
as was recorded above. Thus on 3 November 1905, architect Ernest
Larcomb ’s tender notice was published, seeking tenders to erect a brick
premises in Cuba Street. Three weeks later the Manawatu Times recorded
that Larcomb had accepted the tender of Messrs Sollitt Bros. to erect Mr
Holland’s new building. Eight tenders had been received, and the
accepted price was about £700.237 Thomas Martyn Holland then seems to
disappear from local records within a year or two of the fire.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
In January 1906, the lease on the land was transferred to John Samuel
Watchorn and Leonard Sutton, as tenants in common in equal shares. So
Holland - who should have received a £500 insurance payout as a result of
the fire – presumably recovered his financial shortfall by selling the
building while it was under construction. The 1906 PNBC Rate Book
shows the property transferring directly from the name of Ernest
Stevenson to John S. Watchorn and Leonard Sutton, with Holland not
even mentioned. The 1906 Rate Book records that the property had an
unimproved value of £330, and – prior to the fire – a capital value of £832.
However, sometime prior to 31 March 1906 an extra £400 was added to
the capital value (noted in red ink and indicating that the new building was
now present), and it was also noted with the entry that this was for fire
replacement.
The Wellington and Manawatu Hardware Company
The Manawatu Daily Times of 26 October 1905 published J.S. Watchorn &
Co.’s notice advising that they had purchased the business of Wilson,
Thompson & Co., and that they would begin selling that company’s “full
range of general ironmongery” from that same day. The new Watchorn
business was described as “wholesale and general ironmongers, of
George Street.238
The Evening Standard of 17 March 1906 then announced that Watchorn’s
business, the Wellington and Manawatu Hardware Company, had landed
150 bedsteads and cots, and “being short of room in our present premises
we shall be showing and offering these tomorrow & following days at the
NEW BRICK PREMISES opposite (the) Working Men’s Club, Cuba
Street.”239
Watchorn and Sutton leased the property in their own names for about six
months. Then their business became – by amalgamation – part of the firm
235
Manawatu Evening Standard, 17 August 1905, 3(5)
Keith Goldsack, More Than Hardware: Arthur Hopwood and the business he
founded (Palmerston North, 2000), p. 18
237
Manawatu Daily Times, 3 November 1(8), 22 November 1005 2(6)
236
238
239
Manawatu Daily Times 26 October 1905 1(7)
Manawatu Evening Standard 17 March 1906 4(1)
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Palmerston North City Council
Messrs J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd., which then leased the property its own name
until 1909.
The 1902 Wise’s Directory lists Leonard Sutton as a storekeeper at
Collingwood and Golden Ridge. He had previously lived in Palmerston
North, before being “in business in Nelson, Woodville, and other places,
and until (May 1906) represented the well-known firm of J.H. Cock and
Co., of Wanganui.” Sutton was to manage the new shop. Possibly he was
also the person of the same name who was a Rongotea storekeeper by
1914.240
John Samuel Watchorn was a very well known early resident of
Palmerston North. He had been apprenticed in the drapery trade in
England and arrived in New Zealand in 1880, aged 22. He settled in
Palmerston North in 1883, and began working for Messrs Joseph Nathan
& Co.’s Ready Money Store. This firm became the Manawatu Farmers’
Co-operative Association in 1893, at which time he became manager of
the firm’s drapery, clothing, and boot departments. His 1933 obituary
recorded that many of the town’s prominent businessmen of that time had
received their early training under him.
In 1899, he and his family returned to England to settle, but two years later
had returned. He then set up the Victoria House Co. in The Square, on the
future site of the (former) PDC department store. He duly disposed of this
business and later started another millinery and drapery in a different
building that came to be associated with this family for some years, before
giving that up also in 1917. His obituary did not mention his connection to
the firms The Wellington and Manawatu Hardware Co. and J.A. Nash &
Co. Ltd., or to the building under study here.241
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd.
On 1 December 1902, the new firm J.A. Nash & Co. made a special
announcement that it had taken over the “old-established firm of F. Ireland
and Co., wholesale and retail merchants of Palmerston North.” The firm
was to be run by James Alfred Nash, who had already been manager of
the Ireland business for many years – on behalf of the estate of Mr F.
Ireland, who had died in 1893.
Nash had arrived in Palmerston North (from Foxton), and like Watchorn,
his background included the Ready Money Store. In their reports on the
1902 takeover, both local newspapers recorded that (at age 13) Nash had
“first joined the trade in 1882, when he entered the service of Messrs J.
Nathan & Co at the Ready Money Store in Palmerston North, which has
since developed into that important institution, the U.F.C.A. After nine
years’ service with that firm, Mr Nash accepted a position as manager for
the late Mr F. Ireland, and since the death of that gentleman in 1893, has
carried on the business for the executors of the estate. The business
under Mr Nash’s watchful care has grown from small things to great, until
the firm has become a household word throughout the district.”242
Nash’s obituary added, in relation to J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd. that “A store in
Bunnythorpe was conducted in conjunction with it (i.e. the main shop in
The Square) and branches were also opened in Coleman Place and in
Foxton.” 243
Nash’s partner in the new business was Irelands’ long-time accountant,
Henry Stratford Porteous, who had arrived from England in about 1878
aged 16 and settled in Collingwood, where he farmed and was later a
242
240
Wise’s Directories of 1902 and 1914; Manawatu Evening Standard 7 June 1906
7(3-4)
241
Manawatu Evening Standard 9 May 1933, 6(7); Cyclopedia of New Zealand,
Vol. 1 (Wellington, 1897), p. 1190. See also the PDC department store history
published in the (unnumbered) book From Swamp to City (Palmerston North,
1937).
Manawatu Daily Times 1 December 1902 2(4 & 6), Manawatu Evening
Standard 1 December 1902 4(2), however, the latter is barely legible. Presumably
this was a press release by the company.
243
Manawatu Daily Times, 25 July 1952, p. 8. Nash is also the subject of a
biography in Vol. 4 of The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography (Wellington, 1998)
pp.370-371, however, this devotes only about four lines to Nash’s extensive
business career.
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Palmerston North City Council
schoolteacher. He arrived in Palmerston North in 1890, and before long
began working for F. Ireland & Co. Porteous’ obituary described J.A. Nash
& Co. Ltd. as having been a wine and spirits merchant.244
‘The Arcade’
On 6 June 1906, the Mayor, Maurice Cohen (who was the manager of the
U.F.C.A. when Nash and Watchorn worked there), officially opened the
new shop. It stretched from Coleman Place to Cuba Street – and half of
The Arcade, as it was named, was the building being studied here. As
both ends of The Arcade are included in the present study, and as the
building in Coleman Place was the ‘front’ of the shop, the story is covered
in more detail in that history. The links between the two buildings were
more than geographic. The Coleman Place shop belonged to Mary Emma
Mowlem, wife of Fred Mowlem. Meanwhile John Watchorn was married to
their niece, Kate Mahony, whose mother was the former Martha Mowlem,
Fred’s sister.245 The other two partners Sutton and Porteous, had also
lived in Collingwood and perhaps knew each other.
The opening ceremony took place upstairs in the Coleman Place building.
The resulting newspaper article gave most of its attention to describing
that building. However, it did record that the arcade between Coleman
Place and Cuba Street was some 155 feet long, and that the Cuba Street
end of the shop would shortly be utilised for the crockery part of the
business and for storage of the heavy lines of bulk ironmongery. The shop
was to be run by Messrs W. White and E.W. Simmons, who until a short
time previously had control of the Hardware Company’s business in
George Street.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Despite his plans for the new Coleman Place-Cuba Street shop in June
1906, Nash sold his shops in 1907 and became a valuer, estate and
insurance agent for a firm entitled Messrs Nash & Lovelock. His extensive
biography in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol. 4, mostly
follows his subsequent extensive career from Palmerston North Borough
Councillor (1907), to Mayor 1908-1923, and then Member of Parliament
(1919-1935).246
The cause of the business’ sudden demise has not been researched,
however, in January 1908, the firm L.D. Paterson announced that it had
taken over J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd’s Wine and Spirit business. At the same
time, J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd. still advertised its ‘Temple’ brand of Ceylon tea
on sale at its ‘Arcade Stores’.247
In June 1908, H.S. Porteous announced that he had decided to
commence business as a grocer in the premises in The Square formerly
occupied by J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd, this being the same shop in which he
had worked for the previous 17 years. At the same time, J.H. Gilchrist, of
‘The Arcade’, announced they had taken over from J.A. Nash & Co.,
selling groceries and tea.248 CT WN17/96 records that the lease was
transferred from J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd. to James Henry Gilchrist in May
1909. Gilchrist later became a land agent according to his cemetery
record.249
Then in June 1909 the lease was transferred back to John Samuel
Watchorn (who perhaps had been the owner of the actual building
throughout this time). In October 1909, Watchorn transferred it to a
246
244
Manawatu Evening Standard 28 August 1948 5(4)
Mowlem Family of Swanage
http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/~dchamber/mowlem.htm Note that Martha
Mowlem’s first husband, J.H. Mahony, was Kate’s father, however, by the time
Martha lived in Palmerston North, she was married to Duncan Sinclair.
245
‘Nash, James Alfred,’ in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol. 4,
1921-1940, (Wellington, 1998), pp. 370-371; Manawatu Evening Standard 7 June
1906 7(3-4), 9 May 1933, 6(7); Manawatu Times 25 July 1952 p. 3.
247
Manawatu Evening Standard 15 January 1908, 2(1-2)
248
Manawatu Evening Standard 1 June 1908 2(1-2) & 4(7)
249
Gilchrist died on 20 September 1938, however, no obituary was traced. PNCC
Terrace End Cemetery online record. He was possibly part of the hardware firm
Permain & Gilchrist in 1902 (re Manawatu Daily Times 1 December 1902, 1(5)
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Palmerston North City Council
partnership of Hugh Duncan Buchanan, Thomas Thompson Hillas and
Frederick William Henry Kummer. T.T. Hillas died on 4 May 1915, aged
65, and was replaced within the partnership by his wife Agnes. The Hillas’
were from Mauriceville and are buried at Masterton Cemetery, which also
contains many members of the Krummer family. However, their connection
to Palmerston North is unclear.250 This partnership leased the site of the
shop until 1922.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
service. Mr Pees is to be congratulated on the rapid advancement
he has made, and Cyclists and Motorists will gain every advantage
by encouraging in every way such local enterprise.251
Nonpareil appears to have stayed in these two buildings until April 1921.
‘The Arcade’ – Occupancy (prior to Adams Ltd.)
Wises 1908
Cuba St. - J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd., merchants
Wises 1911-14
21 Cuba St. – Gibson & Paterson, wine & spirit
merchants. Also J.B. MacEwan & Co. Ltd., dairy
machinery
1914-1921
Nonpareil Cycle & Motor Co., motor garage
The Nonpareil Cycle & Motor Co., and ‘The Arcade’ in general, is mostly
covered in the history of its former building at 19-21 (formerly 27-29)
Coleman Place. Nonpareil leased the Coleman Place end of the Arcade
from 1911, however, its first advertisement involving this end of the
Arcade, was on 24 February 1914, when it announced the Arcade’s
(re)opening. The Manawatu Times reported that:
An asset to Palmerston North is the New arcade formed from
Coleman Place to Cuba Street, through the premises of the
Nonpareil Cycle and Motor Co. Mr E.S. Pees, the Sole Proprietor,
has opened this beautiful Showroom to meet the growing demands
of his business, and it is also open to the free use of Palmerstonians
who wish to save the time of walking round the block. He claims this
to be the finest Showroom in Australasia, being 7,500 square feet,
and contains the largest and most varied stock in New Zealand of
Motor Cycles, Sidecars, Cycles and Prams from which to select. A
large staff of Motor Cycle mechanics always at the motorist’s
250
Manawatu Evening Standard 12 January 1934 1(1); Headstone at Masterton
Cemetery per Cemetery microfiche, PN Public Library.
An unsourced plan of fairly recent origin showing the layout of The Arcade,
between Coleman Place (left) and Cuba Street (right), from the Mather Papers,
Cuba Street (PN Historical Society Inc., 2007), p.13. The alleyway, then still
covered by the Rialto Building, is also apparent.
Old Signage
Until painted over in recent years, an old sign had survived on the side of
this building – possibly due to subsequent businesses having installed
signage over the top of it or timberwork associated with the now
demolished Rialto building. Due to the alleyway that ran along the western
side of the building, this would have been visible to passers by. It read
“The Leading Ironmonger”, and therefore almost certainly was painted
there by The Wellington and Manawatu Hardware Co. or Messrs J.A.
Nash & Co. Ltd.252
251
252
Manawatu Daily Times 24 February 1914 1(3) & 5(6)
Mather Papers, Cuba Street (PN Historical Society Inc., 2007), pp. 3, 13
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Palmerston North City Council
Chas J. Adams Ltd.
The firm Chas J. Adams Ltd. occupied the neighbouring building - as a
motor garage - by 1914, according to the Wise’s Directories. Then in 1922,
when the lease on this building came up for renewal, “Adams Ltd.” took
over the new lease and ran the two in conjunction. The firm probably
occupied the building soon after Nonpareil left in April 1921. Charles John
Adams’ obituary in 1946 recorded that after being in control of one of the
leading motor showrooms in Christchurch (then the Adams Star Cycle
Company) he had come to Palmerston North in 1904 (via two years in
Wanganui) to manage another branch of the firm. This firm became one of
the pioneers of the car business in the town.
The 1905 regular advert of the Adams Star Cycle Company indicates that
it was then in the newly rebuilt Clarendon (Hotel) Buildings in The
Square.253 However, before long the firm operated from a two-storied brick
garage in Rangitikei Street, its entry in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand,
Vol. 6 in 1908, describing it as a motorcar and cycle engineers and
importers, that also had its head office in Christchurch. In 1906, the
Palmerston North showroom sold 20 cars and 180 bicycles.254 The firm
was to occupy the Cuba Street buildings until February 1924.
The 1924 Fire
Adams Ltd., which was the New Zealand agent for Studebakers, reopened for business in new premises in Rangitikei Street (previously
occupied by Messrs Wackrill & Stewart) on 18 February 1924. Four days
later a huge fire broke out in the block the firm had just left, destroying or
damaging seven shops. This shop was unaffected by the fire itself, but
being newly empty meant that it was snapped up as the new home of one
of the refugee businesses. This business was to remain in the building for
the next five decades.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Universal Supply Co. had occupied the small shop in Coleman Place
presently occupied by Monsoon Asia Kitchen. The fire broke out at about
11:00pm on Friday, 22 February 1924 at the back of the Empire
Auctioneering Company – the site of the present Costa Building facing
Cuba Street. The Manawatu Daily Times (two of whose staff were close by
when the fire was first noticed) stated that the Universal Supply Co.’s shop
was the second to catch fire. Its neighbour in the same building, Giorgi’s
Tobacconist shop, was more fortunate. It suffered only slight damage from
water and smoke – despite being closer to the source of the fire than its
doomed neighbour.
On Monday, 25 February, the Manawatu Daily Times reported that: “The
Universal Supply Co., whose premises were destroyed in Friday night’s
fire will re-open today in the building recently occupied by Adams’ Garage,
Cuba Street. During the weekend the company has made arrangements
for a complete new stock of groceries and wishes to inform its many
customers that no stocks from the fire will be disposed of in their new
place of business.”
Adams Ltd. then applied to the Council to sub-let the property to Watson
Bros., owner of the Universal Supply Co., for the duration of their own 5year lease. This was granted.255
Watson Bros. & the Universal Supply Co.
CT WN214/247, which was issued to Palmerston North Borough Council
in 1912, records Adams Ltd. taking over the lease for a 5-year term from 1
July 1922. Following the fire, the lease was taken over by Watson Bros.
Ltd. for a term of three years, four months and three days, starting on 25
February 1924.256
255
253
Manawatu Daily Times 1 May 1905 2(2-3)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6 (Christchurch, 1908), p. 684; Manawatu
Evening Standard, 4 February 1946 4(6)
254
Manawatu Daily Times 18 February 1924 4(2), 23 February 1924 7(4-6), 25
February 1924 4(6), 4 March 1924 9(6-7)
The land upon which the building stands, was originally Lot 4, Section 257.
However, between 1916 and 1922 (the dates when the old 1900 lease changed
hands and when a new lease was issued - while still on CT WN214/247) it gained
256
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Palmerston North City Council
The appearance of Watson Bros. in relation to this building returned it to
its earlier links to the old Ready Money Store that J.S. Watchorn and J.A.
Nash had been connected to. The following article on Watson Bros. from
the (un-numbered) 1937 book From Swamp to City records some of the
background of the company, of which this building was its Cuba Street
branch:
The business from which Watson Bros., Ltd., has grown
was originally commenced in the early ‘seventies by Thomas
Nelson, who traded as the ‘Ready Money Store’ with the slogan,
‘The little wonder that keeps the prices under.’
Some years later it was purchased by Joseph Nathan &
Co., Ltd., who operated it as a retail branch of their Wellington
business, under the management of the late Maurice Cohen.
It was then floated into a Farmer’ Co-operative Association with a
capital of £50,000 under the title of the Manawatu Farmers Cooperative Association Ltd. It later amalgamated with the Farmers’
Alliance Company and for 35 years was known and operated as the
United Farmers Co-operative Association with branches in
Wanganui, Feilding and Wellington.
About 1910 the United Farmers’ Co-operative Association
went into liquidation, the drapery portion of the business being
purchased by W.F. Durward & Co. and removed to the site now
occupied by the P.D.C. The remaining portion of the business,
grocery, hardware, produce and crockery departments were
purchased by John and Thos. Watson of Timaru, who traded as
Watson Bros.
It was subsequently taken over by a local syndicate and
floated into a limited company of Watson Bros., Ltd., as it remains
today.
The 1925 Wises Directory lists the building under the name Universal
Supply Company, which was evidently to distinguish it from the main
Watson Bros. shop in The Square, and the other branches. Thereafter the
the present legal description of Lot 8 DB2639. That matter has not been further
researched.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
various Directories consulted, list this shop as Watson Bros. Ltd. The 1941
phonebook, however, listed it as the “Universal Supply Co. (Branch,
Watson Bros., Ltd.), Cash Grocers”. The Watson Bros.’ listings in the 1941
phonebook indicates that the firm then had branches in Rangitikei Street,
Ferguson Street, Main Street (Terrace End) and Albert Street, and a
warehouse in Main Street, as well as the main shop in The Square and the
Cuba Street branch. This phonebook lists further branches in Marton and
Feilding.
The dark-roofed Watson Bros.’, Cuba Street branch – known as the Universal
Supply Company - is pictured here in about 1950. There is an alleyway between
the ground floor of the building in the foreground - the Rialto Building (now a
carpark) and Watson Bros. However, the first floor of the Rialto Building (consisting
in 1955 of five “substandard flats”) also extended over the top of the alleyway.257
257
Circa 1950 photo from Whites Aviation Ltd., Palmerston North & District, New
Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2. Further information on the Rialto Building (newer
that the Watson Bros./Mr Models building, but demolished some years ago due it
its poor structure) can be found in the Mather Papers: Cuba Street (PN Historical
Society Inc., 2007) pp. 14, 29. This states that in a 1955 report, the Rialto Building,
which had been “erected for an unnamed party”, contained three shops, including
the Joe Joy Fruit shop (later an occupant of Joe Sing’s shop) and “5 substandard
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The City Council sold the section in 1971 and the complicated situation
regarding ownership of the actual building prior to that time has not been
researched. The shop is listed in the 1977 phonebook as the Universal
Supply Store, which probably marks the shop’s last days prior to Joe
Sing’s alterations.
that site in 1955, including the laundry, which the 1957 Wises’ Directory
names as that of Hong On. Meanwhile that year there were in fact four
fruiterers listed in Cuba Street between Taonui and Bourke Streets (at
least three of them occupying known shops). These were Henry Childs,
Joe Wah, Manu B. Patel and Waiawai & Co., the latter next door to Hong
On’s laundry.
Joe Sing’s Photography Shop & the Joe Joy Fruiterer shop
CT WN 640/62, which had been issued to PNCC in 1955, records the
transfer of Lot 8, DP 2639 to Lou Wai Ying, a widow of Palmerston North
in May 1971. The property was then issued with the replacement CT
WN9A/721. This then shows an undivided half share being transferred to
Joe Woo Sing, photographer, in June 1971. Lou Wai Ying’s share was
then transmitted to her son, Joe Woo Sing, following her death in 1989,
and this share was then transferred to Kwok Leung Joe and Stella OiWone Joe, both students of Palmerston North, on the same date.
The family owned a small fruit and vege shop, and Joe Sing took this over
from his father at about the time supermarkets first reached Palmerston
North. The fruit and vege shop did not survive this change to retailing
practices, and so he had to establish a new form of employment, and as a
result he became a ‘candid’ photographer at events around the area for
the local magazine Photonews. His first studio was so small that he was
unable to take full-length portraits of customers. He subsequently
established his well-known studio in this building. He retired in about 1995,
but about six months later he was asked by UCOL (then Manawatu
Polytechnic) to teach their photography courses. In 2005 he retired as
head of UCOL’s school of photography. He was also awarded with an
honorary fellowship by the Institute of Professional Photography for his
work. Others in the profession have stated that the photography school
Joe Sing established at UCOL “is the finest industry-related photographic
imaging school in the southern hemisphere.”258
Joe Sing bought the building in 1971 for use as his photography studio.
Born in China, he was raised in New Zealand from the age of about six.
His father, Joe Jel Joy, had established a greengrocer’s shop in New
Plymouth, before returning to China to collect his family soon after the war.
They settled in Palmerston North, where many other members of the Joe
family from southern China, were already working in market gardens and
laundries. The family spent about two years living in a coal shed at the
back of the property where the Firecats strip club building in Cuba Street
now stands. At this time, housing in general was in very short supply in the
city – this being the era of the transit camp near the Centennial Lagoon.
During this time, Joe Sing’s mother did ironing for a laundry, while his
father went out to work. PN Library photo ‘STC 13’ shows the buildings on
flats.” In a 1962 report, the Rialto Building was leased to the Arthur Hopwood
Property Company, and thus also has historical links to the Oroua Building across
the road. Although not further researched, this is most likely the Cuba Street
building designed for Arthur Hopwood by L.G. West & Son, for which tenders were
called in the Manawatu Evening Standard of 20 March 1928.
The main work on this building covered in the PNCC Building Permit
records, occurred in 1978 soon after the departure of Watson Bros. At that
time the building was adapted to become two shops – probably for the first
time. These included a small fruit and vege shop in the right front corner,
which used a newly installed ranch slider that is still used by Mr Models
Ltd. The photography studio and photo developing area then took up the
rest of the building (about 90% of it), and its entrance was at the centre of
the frontage, using what would have been the original entrance to the
building. The two shops also shared the same staff areas, toilets etc. The
local phonebooks list this shop as the Joe Joy Fruiterer, so named after
258
Manawatu Evening Standard, 9 December 2005, p. 2 ‘Friday Profile’ by Alistair
Browne.
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Palmerston North City Council
Joe Sing’s father who died in 1960, and which had earlier been in the now
demolished Rialto Building on the western side of this building. Both the
fruit shop and the photography shop shared the same address (then 266
Cuba Street). Joe Joy Fruiterer appears for the last time in the 1987
phonebook.
Mr Models
CT WN9A/721 records the transfer of the property to the present owners,
Ross Lindsay Avery and Linda Fay Avery, in 2002. It is now occupied by
Mr Models Ltd., a firm that sells kitset model vehicles, aircraft, die cast
models etc., which advertises on its website that it has been open 16
years, indicating about 1994. It had leased the building prior to the
purchase. www.mrmodels.co.nz
Additions & Alterations
PNCC’s Building Permit files relating to this building date only to Joe
Sing’s occupancy, and the most significant are the plans and
specifications for the 1978 adaptation of the building to include the Joe Joy
Fruiterer shop.259
However, visible on the outside is a large arched doorway in its western
side, near the back of the building. For example, this would have been
large enough for early cars to enter the building – such as when Adams
Ltd. used it as a garage or showroom for their Studebakers (although
manoeuvring them once inside might have been tricky). This door was
accessed using the service alleyway that ran alongside the building - and
which then turned 90 degrees to the right just outside this door, to service
neighbouring buildings. The alleyway is now indistinguishable as part of
the neighbouring carpark. This large arched entrance is now bricked up,
as is an ordinary doorway alongside it. It seems likely that the large
entrance would still have been required when Watson Bros. occupied this
259
PNCC Building Permit files C100/256 now 266, and C100/266. The main file is
C100/256, but some information is in C100/266 in error.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
building, and so probably post-dates that firm. The building’s rear access
nowadays is at the very back of the property, and at about the point where
in 1906 this building linked with the building behind it to form ‘The Arcade’.
Comments:
It is not yet clear as to who owned the actual building
during the time the land was leased from the Council. A summary of the
above indicates that the Working Men’s Club tried to buy the previous
building from the Council, but could not agree on a price. When that
building burnt down in 1905, newspaper reports stated that its owner was
T.M. Holland (although he was referred to erroneously as ‘H. Holland’),
and certainly he received the insurance payout and commissioned the
present building. The 1924 lease transfer is recorded in the PNBC General
Minute Book (Vol. 11, p. 142). This states that Adams Ltd. was “applying
for permission to sublet Borough premises in Cuba St. to Messrs Watson
Bros. Ltd.” This was duly granted.260 Further research would be required to
clarify this.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Edwardian Free Classical style with
symmetrical façade, Classical details such as a pediment as part of the
parapet, pilasters on the parapet and few other stylistic details on the
above verandah part of the façade. The below verandah has been
modified from the original.
A ground floor plan available from the PNCC archives for Joe Sings
Photographic studio shows photographic rooms at the rear and one side
with the studio stretching from the rear to the street frontage. A shop is
shown to one side, which appears to be connected to the other spaces
and it is not clear if it is part of the photographic business.
260
PNCC 1/1/1, Vol. 11, General Minute Book May 1923-April 1925, Ian Matheson
City Archives, PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design
values, and representivity of building style.
The building’s above verandah street façade design is largely authentic.
This building has high historic values in its association with one of
Palmerston North’s earliest businesses, The Wellington and Manawatu
Hardware Co who became J A Nash and Co Ltd who had other shops in
the region. Other tenants include Chas J Adams Ltd, of the Adams Star
Cycle Company, Universal Supply Co. a grocery business and a later
owner, Joe Sing, a son of Chinese immigrants who was a photographer
who used the building for his studio and who became head of UCOL’s
photography course.
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
The building, however, has high historic values as one of the oldest
buildings in the central city, now being over 100 years old. It is also
historically and physically connected to 19-21 Coleman Place comprising
the ‘Arcade’ that connected Cuba Street to Coleman Place forming an
early mall. Having been tenanted for over 100 years, the building also
reflects a high level of continuity.
The building has high historic associations with one of Palmerton North’s
most prominent architects, Ernest Larcomb who designed a number of
substantial and very significant buildings in Palmerston North. These
include the main public hospital, many shops around the Square, several
large houses such as the Wattles, the Empire, Albion and Occidental
Hotels.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
M
H
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Edwardian Free Classical style, a style popular in the period, but
high design values as an early mall.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
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M
M
H
Palmerston North City Council
Cuba Street, 260-262
Cooee Dry Cleaners (formerly Pink and Collison Building)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
Thomas David Pearce, Christina Mary
Pearce & Albert Joseph Kells
253 square metres more or less
Lot 9 DP 2639
WN24C/23
(1983),
prior
CTs:
WN16C/1500 (1976), WN214/247 (1912),
WN17/96 (1879)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1905
E. Larcomb
Messrs J. & H.M. Copeland
Unknown
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
There is some question as to whether this building is the 1905 Larcomb
building that was the original building on this site. That building was
described in a separate article on the day the tender notice was published,
as being two-storied and intended to be shops and offices. Perhaps the
reporter concerned got the description wrong. Certainly there was no twostoried building on the site in a c1912 photo taken from the top of the old
main Post Office, while this building was certainly present by 1937.
Prior History
The land upon which this building stands was formerly part of a Borough
Council reserve, and thus the certificates of title do not grant certainty over
who the owners of the actual building were – although the various
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Palmerston North City Council
leaseholders probably were. This property was initially Lot 2 of Section
257, however, the reserve was later resurveyed and it became Lot 9 of
DP2639. Thus this transformation, which occurred in the course of the
lengthy CT 214/247 (which included the leases etc. of a number of
sections on the reserve), can be complicated.
CT WN17/96 shows that the first certain lease of this property in its own
right occurred in 1902. This was the lease of Lot 2 for a period of 21 years
st
starting on the 1 of December of that year. The lessee was James Henry
Carson, the Wellington-born son of two Crimean War veterans – his
mother having also served there with Florence Nightingale. He was
foreman of C.W. Brodie’s cordial factory in Wellington, when after some 25
years in the trade, he decided to move to Palmerston North and start a
cordial factory. Perhaps he initially considered this site for his cordial
business. However, by August 1903, Carson & Co.’s Aerated Water Works
was located in Rangitikei Street between Osgood & Hancock’s premises
and Gattsche’s Brewery. He was also a life member of the Working Men’s
Club/Cosmopolitan Club at the time of his death in 1941, and so this might
have had some bearing of his leasing of this property.261
In January 1905 (meaning the event probably occurred in late 1904), the
lease was transferred from Carson to James Copeland and Henry
Montgomery Copeland as tenants in common.
This Building
The Manawatu Times of 17 January 1905 included the tender notice for
what seems most likely to be this building. It stated simply that architect
Ernest Larcomb sought tenders to build a brick or concrete premises in
261
Manawatu Evening Standard 4 August 1903 5(1) & 8(5); 18 July 1941 6(3). It is
noteworthy that the Carsons lost two of their six children in the First World War
(one of the 1918 Influenza Epidemic), and in 1907 the third of their five sons had
died in tragic self-inflicted circumstances aged 12. (MES 21/8/1907 5(6), 23/8/1907
4(6) & 8(6); 13/11/118 1(1) & 4(7).
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Cuba Street for Messrs J. (&) H.R. Copeland. The tenders were required
by 25th January.
The local news column of the same edition recorded the following: “Mr E.
Larcomb architect, calls for tenders for the erection of premises in Cuba
Street for Messrs Copeland Bros., of Rangitikei Line. The new building is
to be in brick or concrete. It will be situated next to the old Working Men’s
Club. The total width will be 33 feet and the depth 88 feet, and the two
stories will be divided into shops and offices.”262
There was no indication as to who won the tender. However, the 1905-6
PNBC Rate Book shows a building to the value of £600 being added to the
previously bare land – which had an unimproved value of £330. The
following year the neighbouring single-storey Arcade/Mr Models building
was erected for £700, and so this also appears to support the likelihood
that there never was a two-storied building on this site.
The next evidence is provided by PN Library photo Sq 142, which was
taken from the old main Post Office Clock Tower in about 1912, based on
the presence or otherwise of buildings shown. Any two-storied building on
this site, would have been visible alongside the Kerslake/C 2 C building –
which is clearly visible. However, there is nothing two-storied there, and
the known single storey building (Mr Models) is obscured by the buildings
that front The Square. Thus this building appears to predate the photo and
to have been as invisible as its single storey (but still taller) neighbour.
A search of the PNBC/PNCC Rate books between construction in 1905
and 1937, shows only a single unknown addition in value (other than the
standard reviews to property values) to the property, and this being during
the 1911-12 Rating year. This totalled only £30 and might have been
something like the addition of a verandah or alterations inside the building.
A loss by fire and replacement with a much cheaper building might not
have increased or reduced the capital value as shown in the Rate books.
However, such information was not located during this study. Certainly
262
Manawatu Times 17 January 1905 1(8) & 2(6)
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
there is no reference to any harm coming to any neighbouring buildings
during the fire that effectively destroyed the old two-storied wooden
Working Men’s Club building on 16 August 1905. The 1905 Copeland
Bros. building immediately next door, should have been complete by this
time.
business in connection with the Starr Bowkett Building Society will
be carried on by Mr G. Hirsch, and the Government State Fire
Insurance Office will be conducted by Mr T. Rodgers, of Messrs
Rodgers and Larcomb. An advertisement relating to the State Fire
Insurance appears in another column.264.
For the purposes of this study, it will therefore be assumed that this is the
1905 building – especially given Larcomb ’s regular advert of 1907 that
said he was “now designing handsome buildings of moderate cost, which
(would) be proof against earthquakes, fire, weather, vermin, and (would)
last for ages.”263
The Manawatu Evening Standard of 8 March 1906 recorded that a letter
had been received from James Copeland, announcing that his daughter
had just married Sir William Earl in London amidst a “large and
fashionable gathering” of friends.265 Although the Copeland brothers
returned, they did not remain in Palmerston North. Their aforementioned
sister, Frances Montgomery Copeland, died in Victoria, British Columbia,
Canada on 23 July 1916 – where their widowed mother was then living.266
Messrs J. & H.M. Copeland
What was traced for this study regarding the brothers James and Henry
Montgomery Copeland, suggests they were comfortably off and probably
well connected. Their father was Captain James Copeland of Otago, while
their maternal grandfather was Captain Henry Montgomery of Wanganui.
James Copeland junior also served as a PN Borough Councillor between
1901 and 1903. The 1902 Wises’ Directory described the brothers as land
agents, while the 1911 Palmerston North Electoral Roll included James
Copeland, secretary, of Cuba Street. However, no other family members
were listed.
The 1905-6 PNBC Rate book lists their sister Frances Mary Copeland of
Rangitikei Street as occupier of this property – of which the Borough
Council was the owner (of the land).
It seems that no sooner was their new building was likely to have been
complete, than the brothers left the country. The Manawatu Evening
Standard reported in May 1905 that:
Messrs J. and H.M. Copeland, of Palmerston, left by this morning’s
train on an extended trip to the Old Country. They will be absent
from the colony about 12 months. During their absence their
263
For example, Manawatu Evening Standard 21 August 1907 5(7)
Messrs Copeland Bros. paid the rates on this property until its transfer to
Laurence Kavanagh, by then of Hawera, in the 1907-8 Rating year.
However, Kavanagh had had an interest in the property by late 1906. He
had taken over the lease that year, and had also briefly obtained a
mortgage at that time from the Copeland brothers, although another lender
took this over almost immediately. The Copelands then disposed of the
same mortgage to yet another lender the following year.
Although CT WN17/96 shows the lease remaining with Kavanagh until
1911, the Rate books show the property transferred to James H. Gilchrist
in the 1908-9 Rating year, and then to William Seaton of Raurimu, during
1909-10. The following year William P. Seaton was living at Ngaruawahia.
264
Manawatu Evening Standard 13 May 1905 5(1)
Manawatu Evening Standard 8 March 1906 5(1) The surname ‘Earl’ might
instead be ‘Earle’. The website paperspast.natlib.govt.nz has an article from the
Otago Witness of 30 November 1899 (p. 55) reporting what appears to have been
a ‘society wedding’ in its area. Amongst the huge array of gifts reported were a
silver sugar basin from Mrs James Copeland (of PN), a silver-mounted purse from
the Messrs Copeland and a lace handkerchief and bangle from the Misses
Copeland. This perhaps outlines the family.
266
Manawatu Evening Standard 27 July 1916 1(1) & 5(1)
265
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Palmerston North City Council
During the 1911-12 Rating year, the property was transferred back to
James H. Gilchrist, a local commission agent, as also was the lease with
the Borough Council
During the 1912-13 Rating year, J.H. Gilchrist made some unknown
improvement to the property to the value of £30. He then retained the
property until 1914, when the lease was transferred to Albert McBeth,
whose address in the Rate books then was c/- A. Paterson, Inglewood. By
the 1919-20 Rating year, McBeth was living in Hamilton.
The nearly expired lease was next transferred to Charles Abel Peters in
December 1922. He then began a new 21-year lease with the Borough
Council, which started on 1 December 1923. Peters was not traced in this
study, however the Rate books give his address as Cuba Street until
1924-25, when it is changed to 2 Andrew Young Street. In 1932-33 it
changes to Stratford, and in 1936-37 his address is c/- Dominion Motors,
Stratford.
It appears that the building was subleased out by mostly Taranaki-based
landlords over a great many years. Little is known of them or their reason
for owning this building. Albert McBeth might be the man of that name who
lived in Stratford at the time of the 1916 Wises Directory, while Charles
Peters might be the manager, of Stratford, referred to in the 1936 Wises
Directory. The only Laurence Kavanagh traced was a farmer of that name
who died aged 78 in Hawera on 6 August 1961.267
Meanwhile occupants of this building prior to 1925 include the following:
Wises 1908
Cuba St. – J.B. Clarkson Ltd., cycle depot (Jno B.
Clarkson, manager)
Wises 1911
19 Cuba St. – W. Moffatt & Co., land agents
Wises 1914-16
19 Cuba St. – Chas. J. Adams, motor garage
Wises 1920-22
100 Cuba St. - Chas. J. Adams, motor garage
Wises 1925
100 Cuba St. – Empire Auctioneering Co.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
At the time this building was erected in 1905, J.B. Clarkson & Co. Ltd. was
trading from a shop in Coleman Place that was “two doors from the
firebell.” The aforementioned photo Sq142 reveals that it was one of two
shops on the site later occupied by Everybody’s Theatre (later the Midland
Hotel). Clarkson’s firm had been established in 1894, and in 1903 he
reportedly bought 1,000 bicycles when overseas and was considering
opening a new shop. However, his shop was still in Coleman Place in mid1905 when the building under study here was probably complete. By mid1906, when J.A. Nash & Co. Ltd. was about to open The Arcade “by the
firebell”, Clarkson was advertising his shops in Palmerston North, Feilding,
Levin, Foxton and Bulls, and sponsoring the 88 mile Clarkson Road Race
that had attracted 56 male cyclists - 36 of whom completed the race.268
It was Messrs J.B. Clarkson & Co. Ltd.’s cycle shop that attracted the
Nonpareil Cycle & Motor Co. to Palmerston North in 1906. The latter firm’s
entry in the 1908 Cyclopedia of New Zealand269 included the following
description of the business and premises they had just purchased: “In
November 1906, the firm bought out the retail cycle business of Messrs
J.B. Clarkson and Company, Limited, of Palmerston North, and removed
the headquarters of the firm to that town. The premises are amongst the
finest in the town; they have 2000 square feet of floor space, are fitted up
and appointed in the most up-to-date and attractive manner, and comprise
a commodious showroom (capable of displaying 100 machines), a suite of
offices, and large workrooms…”
It is unlikely this description involved the building under study here,
however, Nonpareil occupied the aforementioned premises “two doors
from the firebell” by the 1908 Wises Directory, and in 1911, leased ‘The
Arcade’ next door. Clarkson appears to have stopped advertising his
Coleman Place shop on 22 November 1906270, and as his business
268
Manawatu Evening Standard 24 July 1900 1(5); 11 August 1903 4(7); 4 June
1906 5(5) & 4(2); 5 June 1906 5(6-7)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wellington
(Christchurch, 1908), p. 685
270
Manawatu Daily Times 1(1-2)
269
267
South Taranaki District Council online cemetery database.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
appears using the building being studied here as a cycle depot in the 1908
Wise’s Directory, it is possible that he used it to supply his other cycle
shops.
Chas J. Adams Ltd.
The firm Chas J. Adams Ltd. occupied this building - as a motor garage by 1914, according to the Wise’s Directories. Then in 1922, when the
lease on the neighbouring ‘Arcade’ building (Cuba Street end only) came
up for renewal, “Adams Ltd.” took over the new lease and ran this building
and the former ‘Arcade’ building in conjunction. The firm had probably
occupied the former ‘Arcade’ building soon after Nonpareil left in April
1921.
Charles John Adams’ obituary in 1946 recorded that after being in control
of one of the leading motor showrooms in Christchurch (then the Adams
Star Cycle Company) he had come to Palmerston North in 1904 (via two
years in Wanganui) to manage another branch of the firm. This firm
became one of the pioneers of the car business in the town.
The 1905 regular advert of the Adams Star Cycle Company indicates that
it was then in the newly rebuilt Clarendon (Hotel) Buildings in The
Square.271 However, before long the firm operated from a two-storied brick
garage in Rangitikei Street, its entry in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand,
Vol. 6 in 1908, describing it as a motorcar and cycle engineers and
importers, that also had its head office in Christchurch. In 1906, the
Palmerston North showroom sold 20 cars and 180 bicycles.272 The firm
was to occupy its two Cuba Street buildings until February 1924.
271
Manawatu Daily Times 1 May 1905 2(2-3)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6 (Christchurch, 1908), p. 684; Manawatu
Evening Standard, 4 February 1946 4(6)
Left: The Adams Ltd. configuration - with No. 256 being the Cuba Street end of
‘The Arcade’ & No. 262 being this building. No. 264 is the former Kerslake
property that was burnt out in 1924. (Source: PNCC website) Right: The two
buildings about 1950. From Whites Aviation Ltd., Palmerston North & District, New
Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
The 1924 fire
The newly departed Adams Ltd., which was the New Zealand agent for
Studebakers, re-opened for business in its new premises in Rangitikei
Street (those previously occupied by Messrs Wackrill & Stewart) on 18
February 1924. Four days later, on 22 February 1924, a huge fire broke
out in the block Adams Ltd. had just left, destroying and/or damaging
seven shops. The fire had originated at the centre of the block, and at the
rear of the Empire Auction Mart building. The Kerslake/C 2 C building – on
the eastern boundary of this building - was completely gutted, with only its
brick walls surviving. Meanwhile one of the two shops behind the
Kerslake/C 2 C building (facing The Square) was also badly burnt –
however, both of those buildings were repaired and survive today.
Meanwhile the building under study here seems to have survived the
encroaching flames and the showers of sparks unscathed – with the help
of the fire brigade.
272
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Palmerston North City Council
While this building was unaffected by the fire itself, but being newly empty
meant that it was quickly snapped up as the new home of one of the burnt
out businesses. Similarly, Watson Bros. had quickly moved its Universal
Supply Co. grocery store into Adams Ltd’s other former premises, the old
‘Arcade’ building - and that shop reopened for business only three days
after the fire. The Empire Auction Mart moved into this building soon after.
The 1927 and 1928 Wise’s Directories also list the Forest Radio Co.
between the Universal Supply Co. and the Empire Auction Mart (all three
then being 100 Cuba Street), however, it is not clear which former Adam’s
Ltd. building this business was in.
Empire Auctioneering Company
What appears to be the Empire Auctioneering Company’s first
advertisement at their new premises is dated 5 April 1924. It stated that
they had “re-opened in brick premises, 100 Cuba Street (late Adams, Ltd.,
garage), next to the Universal Supply Stores…” They had also had the
premises “thoroughly renovated” and these afforded “excellent facilities for
display.”273
Charles Abel Peters sublet the former Adams Ltd. property to Mark Briggs
and Bertie Victor Cooksley, for a term of five years starting 4 August 1924.
However, they had clearly occupied it at least four months before that.
The 1920 Wises Directory lists the firm Brown & Briggs, auctioneers, as
located in premises where the Mowlem/Costas building now is. The 1922
Directory lists a motor garage at that address, however, by 1924 and the
time of the fire, the auctioneering firm was back at its former site and was
variously called the Empire Auction Mart (according to its adverts) or the
Empire Auctioneering Company. Mark Briggs’ obituary describes the
business as having been a combination of a furniture store, land agency
and auction rooms.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The owners of this business are some of the most significant in terms of
social history located during this study. They also create a surprising
contrast with each other and probably also those around them. Briggs’
biography in the Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, states that he had
emigrated from Yorkshire in 1904 and worked as an itinerant labourer
around the North Island before becoming a flax worker. He joined the
flaxmillers’ trade union in Manawatu and became a supporter of the radical
‘Red Feds’ group. Then in 1916, he and fellow radical unionist Bob Brown,
formed the Empire Auctioneering Company. They also operated an
employment agency.
Briggs was a conscientious objector during the First World War, refusing
conscription in 1917 on socialist grounds. After imprisonment for a time, he
and thirteen others with similar views were sent from Trentham Military
Camp to Britain, and then to France. There they were subjected to an
array of extreme abuse as outlined in the above publication, including
Field Punishment No. 1 (i.e. tied to posts in range of enemy shells) and
other ill-treatments in an effort to break them of their views. In February
1918, he and the two others (one being the well-known Archibald Baxter)
who were still ‘fighting’ from the original thirteen, were sent to the trenches
– and in Briggs’ case this included being dragged about 1,000 yards
across rough ground and duckboards by wire tied around his chest, while
in range of enemy shells. The physical injuries resulting from these
experiences saw him invalided back to New Zealand as unfit for service in
early 1919.
Although Briggs is described as having been keen sportsman, generous
and popular in business and caring to his family and friends, as well as
patron to cricket and rugby clubs, and a boxing coach, it is also possible to
hope that this tragic and far-reaching fire that started behind or within their
premises in 1924 was simply an accident.274
274
273
Manawatu Evening Standard 5 April 1924 8(5)
This view is qualified by my personal studies of anti-Germanism, both locally
and nationally, during World War One, which includes some interest in the
conscientious objector situation, the distribution of ‘white feathers’ (i.e. subtle
accusations of possible cowardice) etc. that culminated in my 1999 MA thesis on
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Palmerston North City Council
By 1924, Briggs’ business partner was Bertie Victor Cooksley, who also
saw noteworthy war service. He was a Gallipoli landing veteran who won a
Military Medal, before serving in France. He also saw service in World War
Two, before leading a New Zealand party of Gallipoli veterans to lay
wreaths at Chunuk Bair on behalf of the Government in April 1965. An
executive of the market gardening association of the day, he had also
organised and led a protest against Kuku land resumption in 1939.
The politics of these two men also contrasts. Briggs was a staunch Labour
supporter who ran unsuccessfully for the Labour Party in Palmerston North
in 1935 and 1938, although he polled well. He was appointed to the
Legislative Council in 1936 and in 1940 was the only Member of
Parliament to vote against conscription. Cooksley, meanwhile, was the
National MP for Wairarapa between 1949 and 1963.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
of occupancy might have occurred about then. Instead Briggs’ Empire
Furnishing Co. appears in the Directory, relocated to the Cuba Street
building then next to the old RSA building. The Hon. Mark Briggs died on
15 March 1965, aged 80 years and is described as an auctioneer in PNCC
cemetery records. His obituaries typically overlooked his war record.276
Dawick’s Electrical Services
Charles Abel Peters remained lessee of this building until 1946 (including
renewing the lease for a further twenty-one years in 1944), at which time
the lease - but not occupancy - passed to the owners of the motorbike firm
Pink & Collinson. However, the tenant from about 1933 (and certainly by
the 1936 Wises’ Directory) was Dawick’s Electrical Services, which was an
automotive electrical specialist.
The 1925 Wises’ Directory records both men living in Palmerston North,
however, Cooksley subsequently moved to Wellington and managed
Boyday Cooksley Ltd. according to the 1933 Stones Directory. He died at
Waikanae on 26 July 1980.
In 1929, the Briggs and Cooksley sublease was transferred to Mark Briggs
alone. Then in 1935, the sublease was passed on to William Harold
Dawick275 The Dawick business was formed in 1933 and the 1933 Stones
Directory shows no listing for this address, suggesting the actual change
the Somes Island Internment Camp for enemy aliens. It is noteworthy that the
Manawatu Times of 23 February 1924 p. 7(4-6) said that a woman had been seen
entering a shop fronting The Square that also backed onto the Empire Auction
Mart premises, shortly before the fire was first seen at 11:00pm. A policeman
broke in the door of the smoke-filled building and went inside looking for her, but
he did not find anyone. – V.A. Burr.
275
This sublease is on CT WN413/183. This CT was not sighted during this study,
however, its contents are recorded on the study of this property by some Victoria
University students who, in 1980, tackled the daunting task of unscrambling the
highly complex collection of lease and land ownership changes on the land in the
Cuba, George, Coleman, Square, Rangitikei city block. Ref: Research file
A175/154, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.
276
Manawatu Evening Standard 16 March 1965 p.12 (M. Briggs obituary); 2 April
1965, p.8-9; Who’s Who in NZ, 11th Edition (Wellington, 1978) p. 88 (B.V.
Cooksley); David Grant, ‘Mark Briggs’ in Dictionary of NZ Biography, Vol. 3
(Wellington, 1996), pp. 66-77; Waikanae Cemetery records, online on the Kapiti
Coast District Council website, and on the Cemetery microfiche at PN City Library.
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Palmerston North City Council
The 1937 book From Swamp to City contains an article on Dawick’s
Electrical Garage, which includes the above photo of the building at that
time. The upper façade is the same as at present. However, the concrete
work on the lower façade is much different. At that time the verandah was
supported by four plain verandah posts, and the front door was centrally
located with plate glass windows on either side. Nowadays there is a
ranch slider on the left side of the façade and a roller door on the right.
There is also a plate glass window across the original front door site.
These were part of the 1954 alterations outlined below.
The article in From Swamp to City277 records the following:
Coming from that long-respected pioneer family of
“Dawicks,” known so well when in the service of the community in
“Dawick Bros’. Buffett,” later called “The New Royal Hotel,” sons of
Mr William Dawick, Messrs. Harold and Stan. Dawick now, in recent
years step forward to take their place in the ranks of the “giants of
industry” in the business of Dawick’s Electrical Garage, Cuba Street.
As the motor industry has progressed there has arisen the
important need of specialised car electrical service both for the
motoring public and also for the trade.
Established in 1933, Messrs, Dawick’s Electrical Garage
now plays a prominent part in the car electrical repairs and parts
supply service. All car electrical equipment – batteries, starters,
generators ignition lights – and all electrical accessories and parts
supplies are very efficiently catered for.
With the same “pioneer” qualities – character, integrity, skill,
experience – the basis of this fine progressive business, the
motoring community, and that is all of us, can have every
confidence in and respect for Messrs. Dawick’s Electrical Garage.
A letter sent by Dawick’s Electrical Services to PNCC on 6 August 1954
states that they had been unexpectedly asked to vacate the building:
277
‘Dawick’s Electrical Garage’ in From Swamp to City: A short history of the
growth and development of Palmerston North, N.Z. (Palmerston North, 1937). No
page number in book.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
“Under duress of circumstances whereby we must vacate our present
premises at a very early date, we have tentative arrangements made for a
short term tenancy of the premises situated at 225 Cuba Street, now
owned by Collinson & Son Ltd.” The firm was seeking permission to make
alterations to an old building then on the present site of the Firecats Strip
Club.278 The Wises Directories still list the firm at that address in 1960, by
which time Auto Electrics Ltd. was its neighbour in the old Beattie &
Procter building (also part of this study) at 229 Cuba Street. By the 1973
phonebook, the business was in Queen Street. Stanley Hoddinott Dawick
died on 19 February 1980 aged 65. He was described in PNCC cemetery
records as a company director.
Pink & Collison
The motorbike firm Pink & Collison Ltd. was formed in 1930, and until
1954 it was located in premises across the road from this building.
However, the firm’s owners Ernest Frederick Aubrey Pink and Douglas
Kennedy Collison, took over this building’s lease in 1946. Like Dawick
Electrical Services, they had also had an entry in the 1937 book From
Swamp to City, and this provides a history of the firm until that time. This is
entitled: “Pink and Collison, Experts with Motor Cycles”:
In no business is sound, carefully acquired personal
knowledge and experience more essential than in a business
devoted to the sale, servicing and repairing of motor-cycles, for so
much, not only in the way of safely, but of comfort and reliability,
depends on accurate workmanship and scrupulous thoroughness.
These essential qualities are characteristic of the work of Pink
and Collison, of Cuba Street, who can rightly claim that few are
more fitted than they to carry on such a business. Having served a
long experience at the trade, both Mr F.E. Pink and Mr D.K. Collison
know their job through and through, having had long experience
prior to setting up in partnership in 1930. Their record since then
has been one of consistent progress. Their workshop has greatly
expanded, and their workshop staff from two seven years ago has
278
PNCC Building Permit file C100/225-227, Beattie & Procter building.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
increased until it now numbers nine. Two salesmen are also kept on
the road.
Having the advantage of the very latest in machinery Messrs.
Pink and Collison carry out in their premises all manner of repairs
and have earned the name of having a workshop not excelled for
equipment or resource elsewhere in the Dominion. Acetylene
electric wielding and cylinder restoring are among difficult jobs
expertly carried out, while a special valve-seat grinding machine is a
great asset.
The business holds agencies for the principal English motorcycles, including Arials, B.S.A., Panther, James and Triumph. This
is an important department of the activities of this motor-cycle shop,
the proprietors of which, incidentally, are both well-known on the
grass tracks of the Dominion, holding most New Zealand Records
for 2¾ and 3½ class championships.
The firm advertised in the 1959-60 Wises’ Directory (p. 245), stating that it
sold and serviced BSA, Dot, Triumph and Jawa motor cycles; DKW,
Hobby, Cezeta and Prior motor scooters, DKW and Viktoria power cycles;
Raleigh, Humber and BSA cycles; and Morrison Motor Mowers.
A new company, Pink & Collison 1973 Ltd. was incorporated in 1973. This
company is still registered to a local address, but it is not known if it is
trading.279 Its name appears in the 1977 phonebook as a Honda agent,
with the after hours contact numbers being G. Sell and R.K. Pink. The
same edition lists the neighbouring Coo-ee Dry Cleaners, still in the
building (the Kerslake/C 2 C building) where the business had been for at
least forty years. By the 1980 phonebook, Pink & Collison was gone, and
Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd. had relocated into this building next door.
The PN City Library Photographic Collection contains two photos of the
Pink & Collison shops. Photo BC205 shows the earlier shop opposite this
one, which accompanied the above 1937 article. Photo BC 182 shows this
building in about 1960, with the c1954 alterations in place and a large BSA
motorcycle sign on the front of the verandah
CT WN 16C/1500 records that in 1977, the lease on this building was
transferred to Thomas David Pearce, a dry cleaner, and his wife Christina
Mary Pearce, who are directors of Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd.280 Then in
1983 PNCC sold the property to a partnership of Christina Mary Pearce
and Albert Joseph Kells (½ share), and Thomas David Pearce and Albert
Joseph Kells (the other ½ share). In 2002 it was transferred to the present
ownership arrangement of Thomas David Pearce, Christina Mary Pearce
and Albert Joseph Kells.
In 1965, the lease was again renewed for a further twenty-one years,
starting 1 December 1965, this time in the name of Pink & Collison
Holdings Ltd. Then E.F.A. Pink, described as a company manager in
PNCC cemetery records, died on 13 January 1967, aged 65. D.K. Collison
died on 3 March 2003 aged 98. He was described in PNCC cemetery
records as a general manager.
Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd.
The business that on 30 August 1973 was registered as Coo-ee
Drycleaning Ltd., traces firstly to Chinese-born Sam Lee’s laundry that was
in the neighbouring building by 1920, and especially to a firm that began
soon after the 1924 fire with the partnerships firstly of McAffer & McShane
(1927) and then McAffer & Dinley (1930). This story is covered in more
detail in the story of the building at 264 Cuba Street. However, the original
post-fire company was named Coo-ee Tailoring & Dry Cleaning Co. Ltd.,
and in 1933 it was managed by Neil McAffer.
279
Pink & Collison Ltd., Company No. 28359. NZ Companies Office website
www.companies.govt.nz
280
Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd., Company No. 28270. NZ Companies Office website
www.companies.govt.nz
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Palmerston North City Council
Additional & Alterations
PNCC Building Permit file C100/258 contains specifications dated May
1951 to alter the premises for Pink & Collison. This included removing the
verandah, and plate and sheet glass windows at the front of the building.
As Dawicks Electrical Services was still in the building until 1954, possibly
this work was only prepared in 1951, for enactment in 1954.
In 1954, Pink & Collison requested a permit to erect a mezzanine floor in
the building at a cost of £400. The plans for this show a spiral staircase
near the front of the building and that the mezzanine floor travelled around
the entire building.
A set of three undated plans associated with the various 1954 alterations,
by Ronald J. McMillan, show the building much as it is now, except that it
has double, hinged doors installed in the present locations of the ranch
slider and the roller door. However, while the present doors are flush with
the front walls of the building, the earlier doors were set into the building
some two feet (measured as marked on the plans).
Alongside the doors on the left is a show window, with a floor area about
two feet square (in the left side of the doors, but protruding out to the front
walls of the building). The doors and window created a similar size
opening to that now occupied by the present ranch slider and its extra
windows. The right side doors have a petrol pump sketched to their right
side, thereby balancing the appearance of the façade.
Between these doors is a large central window – doubtless the present
front window – and the new wall beneath this window is recorded as
having been made of plaster on bricks. The sign along the new verandah
front reads: “Pink & Collison: The Big Bike Men”
In 1975, the new firm Pink & Collison (1973) Ltd., requested a Motor
Spirits Licence.
On 31 October 1977 Cooee Drycleaning Ltd. applied for a permit to erect a
partition wall and to lower a ceiling within the building. Their plan in the file
shows a narrow area on the right side of the building – behind the present
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
roller door – that was being partitioned off. This is marked as “lettable”.
The remainder of the building consisted of the reception area, stairs on the
left side of the building, and a large “working area” at the back.
Comments:
Most of this building’s usage until 1977 revolved around
the sales and servicing of various forms of transportation. However, for
almost a decade it was the premises of an auctioneering firm that
belonged to two future MPs, one of whom was a noted conscientious
objector. If this is not the 1905 building, then it certainly seems to predate
about 1912. It is not known if there was ever an internal access between
the two buildings in their Adams Ltd. days.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Edwardian Free Classical style with
symmetrical façade, Classical details such as a pediment as part of the
parapet, pilasters on the parapet and few other stylistic details on the
above verandah part of the façade. The below verandah has been
modified from the original.
A ground floor plan available from the PNCC archives shows a rectangular
floor plan divided into an ‘L shaped space with reception area at the street
frontage and a working area to the rear. The remainder of the space faces
the street is denoted as “lettable”.
The exterior is cement rendered and it is probable that its main form of
construction is brick.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and type and level of external
authenticity.
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Palmerston North City Council
This building has high historic values in its associations with the
architect, Ernest Larcomb who designed a number of significant buildings
in Palmerston North. These include the main public hospital, many shops
around the Square, several large houses such as the Wattles, the Empire,
Albion and Occidental Hotels. It is one of few buildings constructed in the
central city over 100 years old.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example of
the Edwardian Free Classical style, a not uncommon for commercial
buildings in the late Victorian and Edwardian period.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
M
H
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M
M
H
Palmerston North City Council
Cuba Street, 264
Kerslake building (now C2C Surf Shop)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
455 square metres more or less
Part Section 258 Town of Palmerston
North
WN27/124 (1881)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1905
E. Larcomb
H. Kerslake
A. France
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
Much of the history of this property is covered in detail as part of the
history of the other building on this property – that located at 164-165 The
Square, part of which is now occupied by Monsoon Asia Kitchen. Part of
the building’s individual significance is that it was burnt out in the 1924 fire.
Prior History
This property was granted to auctioneer George Matthew Snelson in 1881
and then sold to George Best, a farmer of Ohariu in 1882. In 1883, he
passed it on to his daughter, Harriet Elizabeth Kerslake, wife of tailor,
Thomas Tozer Kerslake. The property then remained in the Kerslake
family until 1951.
The pair of shops at 164-165 The Square, identified for this study as
“Kerslake Building – 1895”, was built to replace the shop Thomas Tozer
Kerslake had operated since November 1880. That two-storied building,
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Palmerston North City Council
called the ‘Temple of Fashion’ tailor’s shop, had burnt down on the night of
14 March 1895, when the Theatre Royal next door caught fire. The
present building on that site was quickly erected – and the Kerslakes
clearly had learned the value of brick. When the next (by then ‘former’)
Theatre Royal burnt down in 1924, both the Kerslake buildings survived –
albeit that they were 75% gutted.
This Building
Like its neighbour at 260-262 Cuba Street, this is likely to be the first
building on this site, based on a 1903 survey that in turn was based on
1896 data. This shows nothing present between the Working Men’s Club
(then at the present 256 Cuba Street) on one side, and the back of the
Theatre Royal (which reached Cuba Street) on the other side.281
In 1893, Kerslake had sold his goodwill in his ‘Temple of Fashion’
business to the United Farmers’ Co-operative Association. He had then
taken over management of that firm’s tailoring department, remaining with
the firm for some years. In 1906 he resumed business on his own account
and had this shop built at Cuba Street end of his property.
Ernest Larcomb ’s tender notice for this building was published on 1
August 1905. Tenders were set to close on 11th August, and on 14th
August the Manawatu Evening Standard reported that: “Mr E. Larcomb,
architect, received five tenders last week for the erection of a two-storied
brick building in Cuba Street. Mr A. France, contractor, was the successful
tenderer at the price of £840. The premises will be built for Mr T.T.
Kerslake, tailor, and will be occupied by him. The workroom will be
upstairs, and the ground floor is to be used as a shop.”282
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
is the sum of £950 and also a separate “1.00” (perhaps £100), to which
was added the note “shops.” Probably something was also added to the
other shop.
The building was clearly complete by April 1906 when Kerslake published
the following: “‘Notice of Removal’, T.T. Kerslake, Tailor, desires to inform
his customers and the public generally that he has removed to more
commodious and convenient premises in Cuba Street, opposite the
Working Men’s Club. All classes of gentlemen’s tailoring done and a full
stock of materials always on hand.”283
Kerslake was aged about 54 when he moved his business into this
building in 1906. The 1911 Wises’ Directory listed him as still occupying
this shop. However he retired after a relatively short time in the building,
and thereafter, the business continued as the partnership Kerslake &
Usmar until at least 1918.284 The firm was gone by the time of the 1920
Directory. Charles Horace Usmar, who died on 13 November 1960, was
described in PNCC cemetery records as a tailor aged 90.
It is not clear if the building’s present frontages as two old-style shop
entrances (only one now in use) plus a side door from the street are the
same as when this building was erected. However, the Wises Directories
for 1908 and 1914 list the grocers J.R. Graham and Harold A. Worrall
respectively as present apparently in the right-side little shop. In 1914,
Worrall was also occupying one of the shops in the building at the other
end of the property fronting The Square.
The 1905-06 PNBC Rate book shows this property as having had an
unimproved value of £1,770 and a capital value of £2,230 (including the
building in The Square). Being added to this amount during this rating year
Sam Lee’s laundry and the 1924 fire
The 1920 and 1922 Wises’ Directories list Samuel Lee as operating a
laundry from this building. He is probably the same Sam Lee recorded in
the 1917 Register of Aliens as then aged 38, unmarried, and a Chinese
national, who had at that time been in New Zealand for 20 years. He was
281
283
282
Mather Papers, Cuba Street (PN Historical Society Inc., 2007), p. 28.
Manawatu Evening Standard 1 August 1905 8(6); 14 August 1905 4(6).
284
Manawatu Evening Standard 2 April 1906 2(2)
Wise’s Directory, 1918
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Palmerston North City Council
one of twelve Chinese men listed as a laundrymen who then lived in
Palmerston North Borough, with no additional street addresses given. In
addition to the Chinese in this occupation, there was also one German
man described as a laundry assistant, and he lived with his wife at 27
George Street.285
The main information on Sam Lee’s laundry comes from the time of the
major fire through this block on 22 February 1924. The neighbouring
Empire Auction Mart had been at the heart of this fire, however, the
building under study here was the last to catch fire. The fresh northeasterly
breeze in part caused this that night that mostly sent the flames in the
other direction. Also the fire had begun at the back of the Auction Mart (a
huge building that was formerly the main hall of the Theatre Royal), and
the Kerslake building has a comparatively short footprint in relation to its
neighbours.
In describing the fire, the Manawatu Evening Standard of 23 February
1924 described its impact on Sam Lee’s laundry: “On the southern side
stood a two-floor brick building which appeared to be safe from the fire, but
the flames found a way in round the rear from the centre of the block, and
in a few minutes the upper windows sent forth fierce masses of flame. This
new outbreak was subdued only after the laundry premises upstairs had
been ruined, and the ground floor also badly affected, though the vacant
garage was saved.”
The article added: “In the doorways of several of the premises in the
danger zone were clustered occupants fearing for the safety of their
abodes, but so far as is known only one residential quarter was affected.
That was where the Chinamen connected with the laundry slept on the
second floor of the gutted brick building in Cuba Street. At least one
Celestial was observed to leave hurriedly with a few personal belongings.”
285
Palmerston North Borough, Register of Aliens under the Registration of Aliens
Act, 1917 (NZ Dept. of Internal Affairs)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Manawatu Daily Times added that: “The Cuba Street brick building
damaged by fire, was insured with the Standard for £800, and the front
shop was insured for a like amount - £400 with the Standard Company
and £400 with the Yorkshire.”286
Where as all the other shops were wooden and were ruined, the
Kerslakes’ two were soon repaired. Barely two weeks later, the Borough
Engineer reported to the PN Borough Council committee meeting that they
had issued a permit “to reinstate the inside portion of a two-storied brick
building in Cuba Street that was damaged by fire.”287
The PNBC Register of Building Permits, Vol. 3, lists the repairs to the
Kerslake buildings. The first permit was issued for additions and
alterations to this building on 27 February 1924. This was for
(reinstatement) work in wood to the value of £600. Then on 26 March 1924
a further £60 was permitted for work involving brick for the building in The
Square Another £45 was then permitted for work on the Cuba Street
building in July 1925.288
Clearly Ernest Larcomb was serious when he state in his regular advert in
1907 that he was “now designing handsome buildings of moderate cost,
which (would) be proof against earthquakes, fire, weather, vermin, and
(would) last for ages.”289
286
Manawatu Evening Standard 23 February 1924 5(2-4); Manawatu Daily Times
23 February 1924 7(4-6)
287
PNCC Reports from 22 July 1922 – 23 September 1924, p. 326. 1/4/3, Vol. 3,
Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library
288
PNCC Register of Buildings, Vol. 3, 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN
City Library
289
For example, Manawatu Evening Standard 21 August 1907 5(7)
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Top: The building about 1950 as Coo-ee Drycleaners From Whites Aviation Ltd.,
Palmerston North & District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2. Bottom: The
former Kerslake property from the PNCC website, with this building being No. 264,
and Nos. 164 and 165 the 1895 Kerslake building.
Subsequent Occupants
Sam Lee drops from the picture following the fire. The 1927 Wises
Directory lists the tailors McAffer & McShane as occupants of the building
and the 1930 Directory lists the partnership as McAffer & Dinley. These
are probably Neil McAffer, retired, who died 15 June 1968 aged 85; James
Johnstone McShane, tailor, who died 8 March 1980 aged 90; and Joseph
Aloysius Dinley, drycleaner, who died 6 June 1954, aged 62.290 Their
business became Coo-ee Drycleaners, and the Coo-ee Tailoring & Dry
Cleaning Co. Ltd. was listed in the 1933 Stones Directory as being
managed by Neil C. McAffer. The 1941 Manawatu phonebook listed both
Neil McAffer and Coo-ee Drycleaning & Pressing Service as being at 266
Cuba Street.
The firm became Coo-ee Drycleaning Ltd. in 1973, with its directors being
Thomas David Pearce and Christina Mary Pearce. They moved the
business to the building next door (260-262 Cuba Street) in 1977 - where
the business remains.
WN27/124 records the lease for three years of part of the Kerslake
property to the Distributing Agency Ltd., starting 1 May 1925. The 1927
Wises Directory lists the “Distributing Co. Ltd.” as located somewhere in
this building. It states that this firm was involved with Star tyres. The 1928
Directory substitutes the tyre firm for Grant & Mitchell (James B. Grant),
who were commission agents, and who represented the firm Osmond &
Son (NZ) Ltd., a manufacturer of animal medicine. The 1941 Manawatu
phonebook, which explained the aforementioned relationship between
what by then, was J.B. Grant & Co., and Osmond & Son (NZ) Ltd. The
Grant/Osmond businesses left the building in the 1950s.
290
PNCC online cemetery records
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Skylight coffee bar there between 1979-1984 and gave the building its
fire escape out the front window.
Building in Coleman Place. In 1965, the property was transferred to The
Church Street Flats Company Ltd., of PN.295
The present business in the building is the C 2 C Surf Shop, which has
been in the building since about 1998,291 the company, C 2 C Ltd, having
been registered with the Companies Office on 12 November 1997. The
shop has a Bebo website, but does not list its history on the website. It
does, however, include photos of the building being repainted blue from
the previous white during their time.292
Members of the Bares family purchased it in 1985. The first were Peter
and Maria Bares. Then in 1991 it was transferred to Maria Bares and Alan
McKenzie Larsen, a chartered accountant. In 1995 it was transmitted to
Alan McKenzie Larsen as survivor, and the same year it was transferred to
Alan McKenzie Larsen, John Bares, Jim Dimitri Bares and Mercina Viatos.
In 2004 it was transferred to the present ownership: John Bares, Jim
Dimitri Bares and Mercina Viatos.
Ownership
This property is still on its original CT, (WN27/124) which was issued in
1881. Thomas Tozer Kerslake died on 18 June 1932, aged 80 years, and
Harriet Kerslake died on 25 May 1949, age 98.293 The property was
transmitted the same year to the couple’s son Alfred Edward Kerslake, an
accountant of PN, as executor, and then, again in 1949, ownership was
transferred to A.E. Kerslake, Harold James Lancaster, a Levin farmer, and
Frank Wakefield Verry, and Kairanga farmer, the latter two being the
husbands of two of the three Kerslake daughters.294
In 1951, the property was transferred into the ownership of the property’s
neighbour, McKenzie’s (PN) Ltd. Then in 1954 to R.E. Harrison & Co. Ltd.,
a firm that occupied a garden supplies shop in the neighbouring Union
291
Manawatu Phonebooks
http://www.bebo.com/Profile.jsp?MemberId=8841772712
293
Manawatu Evening Standard, 20 June 1932 6(7), Obituary: Mr Thomas Tozer
Kerslake; and 25 May 1949 11 (6), Obituary: Mrs T.T. Kerslake. The obituary says
she was aged 98, while the cemetery records say she was 97.
294
Their eldest son, H.G. Kerslake, who had been chief sub-editor of the
Manawatu Standard for many years, had predeceased his mother. Manawatu
Evening Standard, 25 May 1949 11 (6), Obituary: Mrs T.T. Kerslake
292
Additions & Alterations
Entries in PNCC Building Permit file C100/266 relate to the Skylight coffee
bar from the period 1979-1984. Various development work (plumbing,
drainage etc.) appears to have occurred on the Skylight between late 1978
and early 1979. Rats were a problem at the rear of the restaurant in April
1983 (due to a rusty foulwater drain and a broken gully trap), and in 1984
a permit was sought to remove an internal partition for the Skylight
Restaurant.
Plans in the file from 1979 indicate that the coffee bar was downstairs.
However, a fire escape was also required for the upstairs area. The sketch
of the front wall of the building shows its four windows, with the left hand
window being designated in associated specifications to have its sashes
removed and a doorframe inserted in the opening leading to an escape
route over the front verandah. The various other fire escape balcony,
railings, etc. were also outlined. This work appears in the PN City Library
Photographic Collection photo ST114, which was taken for publication in
the Manawatu Evening Standard of 17 November 1982. A photo taken
about 1993 during the CBD Heritage Inventory (SQ11) also shows the fire
295
Document ‘D1’ in Research file ‘George Street-Cuba Street-Coleman Place
Properties,’ land ownership data prepared by Victoria University students in 1980,
in A 175/154, Ian Matheson City Archives.
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Palmerston North City Council
escape railings in place. However, the railings appear to now be lying on
the neighbouring verandah.
Former Shop on the George Street side and/or upstairs
Wises 1908
Cuba St. - J.R. Graham, grocer
Wises 1911
17 Cuba St. – nil
Wises 1914
17 Cuba St. – Harold A. Worrall, grocer (also
listed in other Kerslake building in The Square for
this year.)
Wises 1916-22
17 Cuba St. – nil
Wises 1927
102 Cuba St. – Distribution Co. Ltd., Star Tyres
(3-year lease from 1 May 1925)
Stones 1928-33
266 Cuba St. – Grant & Mitchell (Jas B. Grant)
commission agents, for Osmond & Son (NZ) Ltd.,
animal medicine manufacturers
Wises 1936-39
266 Cuba St. - J.B. Grant & Co., commission
agents, for Osmond & Son (NZ) Ltd., animal
medicine manufacturers
Wises 1944-51
264 Cuba St. - J.B. Grant & Co., commission
agents, for Osmond & Son (NZ) Ltd., animal
medicine manufacturers
Wises 1953-54
Osmond & Son (NZ) Ltd., animal medicine
manufacturers
Wises 1957-60
nil
Shop on Rangitikei Street side – including tailors &
laundry/drycleaners
Wises 1908-11
Cuba St. - Kerslake, tailor
Wises 1914-16
15 Cuba St. – Kerslake & Usmar, tailors
Wises 1920-22
104 Cuba St. – Samuel Lee, laundry (evidently
left 1924)
Wises 1925
nil (had been burnt out in 1924 when list probably
compiled)
Wises 1927
104 Cuba St.- McAffer & McShane, tailors
Wises 1930-31
104 Cuba St.- McAffer & Dinley, tailors
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Stones 1933
Wises 1936-39
Co. Ltd.
Wises 1944-60
Co. Ltd.
About 1977
About 1978-1984
About 1998-now
268 Cuba St. – Cooee Tailoring & Dry Cleaning
Co. Ltd. (Neil C. McAffer, manager)
268 Cuba St. - Cooee Tailoring & Dry Cleaning
266 Cuba St. - Cooee Tailoring & Dry Cleaning
Cooee moved to neighbouring building
266 Cuba St. – Skylight Coffee Bar
264 Cuba St. - C 2 C Surf Shop
Comments:
This building combines architectural heritage with examples of the city’s
ethnic heritage, and the survival story of what could have been a written
off building. The combined heritage of the two buildings on this property
also is of significance. The building served as a drycleaning shop for
almost six decades.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Edwardian Italianate Palazzo style with
symmetrical façade, Classical details such as a parapet, and pilasters to
the full height of the building, a cornice with modillions, pediments over the
windows and a central panel between the two pairs of windows on the
above verandah part of the façade. The below verandah appears to be
original with recessed ingos, large timber shopfronts and original verandah
with chamfered timber posts. The entry to the first floor is from the street
and the entry is slightly recessed.
No floor plans are available from the PNCC archives.
The exterior is cement rendered and newspaper descriptions state that it
was constructed of brick.
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Palmerston North City Council
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and level of external authenticity.
This building has high historic values in its associations with the
architect, Ernest Larcomb, who designed a number of significant buildings
in Palmerston North. These include the main public hospital, many shops
around the Square, and several large houses such as the Wattles, the
Empire, Albion and Occidental Hotels. It is one of few buildings
constructed in the central city over 100 years old.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity in being a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings
throughout the city.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example of
the Edwardian Italianate style, a popular for commercial buildings in the
late Victorian and Edwardian period.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
M
H
The building’s entire street façade design has a high level of authenticity.
Page 147
M
M
H
Palmerston North City Council
Cuba Street, 268-270
Mowlem Building (formerly Costas’)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Building’s Address:
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
268-270 Cuba St.
578 square metres more or les
Part Section 258-259 Town of Palmerston
North
WN342/285 (1927) Prior CT WN316/200
(1924), WN27/123 (1881)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1928
C. Tilleard Natusch & Son
Mowlem Estate
Anderson & Williamson
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
For about fifty years this building was associated with the Para Rubber
Company Ltd., while for about thirty years it housed a billiard saloon – for
which the first floor was purpose-built. More recently the building has been
used as various food outlets.
Prior History
Much of the prior history of this property is covered with the story of the
other building on this property, namely the “Mowlem Buildings-1925” at
161-163 The Square.
This building is on the former site of the Theatre Royal that burnt down on
22 February 1924. The c1912 photo Sq142 (taken from the clock tower of
the old main Post Office) from the Photographic Collection at the PN City
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Palmerston North City Council
Library shows a large single gabled hall-like building on this site. It had
begun as the back portion (possibly the main hall) of the Theatre Royal. In
1904, the Theatre Royal had been converted to shops, and by February
1924, the building on this site had become the Empire Auction Mart. The
fire on the night of 22nd February started in the centre of the block bounded
by Cuba Street and The Square, and at the back of the Empire Auction
Mart building.296
By the time the fire brigade arrived (from Coleman Place), the flames from
this building were described as shooting some 30 feet above the roof of
what was probably a two-storied building. The building was completely
destroyed.
This Building
The architects for the replacement of the building at The Square end of the
property were H.L. Hickson & A.R. Allen, their plans being dated 14
November 1924. Hickson & Allen also designed a two-storied building of
compatible style for this site as part of the 1924-25 project. However, it is
crossed out on the blueprints. The discarded plan shows the first floor as
being as well lit as the present one in terms of windows, skylights, etc.,
and so it may also have been intended as a billiard room. While we can
only speculate as to why the Hickson & Allen building was not proceeded
with, it is noteworthy that Fred Mowlem died on 22 November 1925 –
before the building in The Square was complete.297
The architectural firm C. Tilleard Natusch & Sons was appointed by the
Mowlem Estate to design this building, and its blueprints are dated
November 1927. Its building permit (No. 299) was issued on 25 January
1928 and the cost of the new building was £3,300. The builders were
Anderson & Williamson, who the following year built the Elgin Buildings on
296
The Empire Auctioneering Company and its premises, the Empire Auction Mart,
are outlined in the history of 260-262 Cuba Street - the building that firm moved to
after the 1924 fire.
297
Manawatu Evening Standard 23 November 1925 7(2)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
the corner of Cuba and Bourke Streets, and which is also covered in this
study. The 1927-28 Rate book records the £3,300 increase in value to the
property for “shops in Cuba Street.” It also shows two sets of alterations
apparently involving the 1925 building, which totalled £244.298
The plans show the ground floor as a large open room with a concrete
floor. There were doors permitting pedestrian access on the left side of the
building - one leading upstairs and one giving access to the ground floor
room. The right side of the room had a pair of what were described on the
plans as “collapsible” (folding) doors. These created a 12 feet wide
opening through which to admit goods. This space is now the frontage of
the Hawaiian Takeaways shop.
The first floor was a purpose-built billiard room that could accommodate
six billiard tables. This room had a concrete floor and three large skylights
– one above each pair of billiard tables. The room also had six sets of
three electric lights, which were to suspend over the six billiard tables. The
room also had an office and kitchen.
There was also a narrow ground floor passageway leading in the direction
of The Square end of the building between the building’s outer wall on the
western side, and the western side of the large ground floor room. This is
described as a fire egress passage in 1983 plans of the building during the
Hawaiian Takeaways conversion. The 1927 plans also show the words
“Mowlem Building” written across the upper front of the building.299
Owners
Fred Mowlem’s involvement with this property began when he and James
Linton bought it in partnership in 1890. It was next transferred to James
298
1922-1935 Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, PNCC 4/13/1; Hickson & Allen
plans 14 November 1924, and Natusch November 1927 plans 530/196-198, PNCC
4/13/6, PNCC Rate Books between 1927 and 1935. Ian Matheson City Archives,
PN City Library. Note also that the Heritage Trails booklet ‘Undercover Art Deco
Palmerston North’, erroneously dated this building as built “around 1934”.
299
PNCC 4/13/6, Plan 530/196-198, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
Linton alone in early 1895, and then back to the previous partnership a few
months later. Then in 1897, when James Linton moved to Sydney, his
share was transferred to Fred’s brother James Mowlem – and this was the
ownership in place at the time of the 1924 fire.
Later in 1924 (the resulting CT WN 316/200 is dated 12 September 1924)
the property was transferred to Fred Mowlem alone. However, Fred did not
live to see even the first of his new buildings completed. After a long and
very significant contribution to the business and local body political
development of Palmerston North, he died on 22 November 1925, aged
79. His wife Mary Emma Mowlem then died on 26 August 1926 aged 76.
She had still owned the nearby Arcade building at 19-21 Coleman Place at
the time of her death.
In 1926, this property was transmitted to Arthur Maxwell Mowlem,
stipendiary magistrate of New Plymouth; Clifton Leslie Mowlem, land
agent of PN; and Josiah Batchelor, farmer of Linton, as executors of Fred
Mowlem’s estate. The current CT (WN342/285) was first issued to them in
1927. These were the people in charge of the property at the time the
Mowlem estate had the Cuba Street building erected in 1928 – and so
they chose its architect and approved its design.
Thereafter, this building was owned by various members of the Mowlem
and Batchelor families and their descendents, and others in partnerships
with them, until 1967, when it was sold to Bares Buildings Ltd.
In 1981 it was transferred to the present ownership of John Bares, Irene
Bares and Jim Demetre Bares owning one half share, and Jim Demetre
Bares, Stella Bares and Peter James Bares owning the other half share.300
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Street Address Confusions
The compilers of the Wises Directories in the 1920s and early 1930s faced
difficulties when recording the occupancy of this building. This possibly
resulted from the street number (No. 106) seemingly having been
reallocated (by the Directories at least) to the next building along on the
Rangitikei Street side after the 1924 fire. This was no problem during the
four years where there was no building on this site. However, when this
building was erected, there was no number available for it until the next
renumbering of Cuba Street in the early 1930s. Note that Cuba Street was
renumbered quite regularly then, as its numbering starts at the western
end. This meant that every time the street was extended for a new housing
subdivision, all the previously existing properties in the street needed to be
renumbered. This dilemma is apparent with all the Cuba Street buildings
covered in this study.
Another confusion that appears in the Directories is that they give the
appearance that there were billiard rooms at both ends of this property. In
reality it was almost certainly just one billiard room that had two street
addresses. This again may have been influenced by the aforementioned
street numbering problem in Cuba Street.
Adding to the confusion, one of the earliest tenants of this building
(possibly the original ground floor tenant), the Premier Tyre & Vulcanising
Co. Ltd., was the neighbour of this building at the time of the fire. However,
by 1931, the tyre dealership was certainly a tenant in this building. Its
address was 106 Cuba Street in both the 1925 and 1927 Wises
Directories when it was in the neighbouring building, and still was in the
1931 Directory when it was in this building. The billiard room had the street
address 106a Cuba Street in that Directory.
300
Sources: Certificates of Title and the 1980 Land Ownership study of this
property by Victoria University students, as part of their work on properties in this
block – Research File George Street – Cuba Street – Coleman Place A175/154,
Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.
The Premier Tyre & Vulcanising Co. Ltd.
Page 150
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
At the time of the 1924 fire, the Premier Tyre & Vulcanising Co. Ltd.301 was
the immediate neighbour on the eastern side of the Empire Auction Mart.
As a precaution, all its tyres and rubber goods had been quickly removed
to safety. However, the building the firm then occupied was unharmed.302
The 1930 Wises Directory lists the firm (as Henry J. Turner’s tyre
dealership) as being at 106 Cuba Street – however, it is not clear which of
the adjoining buildings it then occupied. The firm clearly had moved by the
1931 Wises Directory, however. Henry J. Turner was still proprietor of the
tyre dealership when the 1933 Wises Directory was compiled. However,
A.J. Thompson was proprietor of what was again listed as the Premier
Vulcanising Works by the time the Stones Directory was printed in
November 1933. The relationship between this firm and the Para Rubber
Co. Ltd. was not researched, although there very likely was one.
The Para Rubber Company
The Para Rubber Co. Ltd. started its Palmerston North business in about
1918 and then moved to Rangitikei Street in 1920. The shop moved to at
least one of the buildings on this property – and probably both - in about
1934, with this building serving as its repair depot. This company’s story is
covered with the history of the “Mowlem Buildings–1925” at 161-163 The
Square.
In 1983, the Para Rubber Company relocated to the former Salvation
Citadel in Broadway (now the Barris shop) that was more than twice the
size of this one. By that time it had been one of 30 Para Rubber Company
branches throughout New Zealand.303
301
This shop might have been connected to the Premier Tyre and General
Vulcanizing Company Ltd. for which material is held at Archives New Zealand,
Wellington. Ref: CO-W, W3445, 263*, 1923/8. This was not sighted for this study.
302
Manawatu Daily Times 23 February 1924 7(4-6)
303
Manawatu Evening Standard 1 September 1983, p. 17 ‘New Para almost ready
to bounce into action’; 21 September 1983, p. 13 ‘Firm’s founder went from rags to
riches’; 21 September 1983, p. 12 ‘Leisure display a feature’. See also: G.W.
The building in about 1950 as the Para Rubber Company’s repair department.
Note the blinds in the billiard room windows. The skylights are not evident in the
modern Geo-Guide photo of the building. Photo from the Whites Aviation Ltd.
publication Palmerston North & District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2.
John G. Fitzgerald’s Billiard Saloon
The first floor of this building was a purpose-built billiard room, and the
Wises Directory lists this business between 1930-1960, although it did not
necessarily start or close at those times.
In addition to having two addresses in the Directories, there was some
confusion in the 1930-1933 Wises Directories as to the name of the
proprietor of the billiard saloon at its various addresses. Sometimes he is
given as “J.D. Fitzgerald”, and other times he is “Jno G. Fitzgerald” (‘Jno’
being the abbreviation of ‘John’ in the Directories). However, “J.D.
Fitzgerald” appears to be an error, as no-one with those initials was
Crozier, If its made of Rubber: Para 75 Years, 1910-1985 (Para Rubber Co. Ltd.,
1985)
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Palmerston North City Council
located in other sources around that time. The proprietor was almost
certainly always John Garet Fitzgerald - the compilers of the Directories
not having local knowledge and building plans to fall back on.
The 1931 Palmerston North Electoral Roll lists John Garet Fitzgerald,
billiard parlour proprietor, of 16 Rangitikei Street. By the 1938 Roll he has
married Alice Elizabeth and is living at 95 Featherston Street. The 1936
Stones Directory lists his billiard saloon as having addresses at 274 Cuba
Street and 124 The Square. He had another second billiard saloon at 87
Devon Street East in New Plymouth. The 1940 Stones Directory also lists
his businesses, although the street numbers had been changed to 276,
113 and 73a Devon Street West respectively. No telephone number for the
billiard saloon was located in pre-1960s phonebooks, although the
Fitzgeralds’ home was listed.
The PNCC cemetery records list John Fitzgerald, billiard room proprietor,
who died aged 88 on 28 May 1973. His headstone, in the Returned
Servicemen’s section of the Kelvin Grove Cemetery, indicates that he
served as a private in the Otago Regiment during the First World War.
A pair of photos (ST114) from the PN City Library collection, which are
dated c17 November 1982, show this building with semi-legible writing on
the upper façade. This might be a word like ‘Bella’s’, however, no such title
appears in the relevant phonebooks. The sign might also have been left
over from the billiard saloon days.
Since that time, the first floor appears to have been used for at least two
decades as a restaurant - Manelito’s around 1985, and then Costa’s
between about 1987 and about 2006.304 However, it appears to now be
unoccupied, with chairs visible stacked against the windows.
304
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Hawaiian Café & Hawaiian Takeaways
C100/278 includes plans and alterations in 1983 for Pmuong Lam to fit out
a takeaway bar in the old Para Rubber building in Cuba Street. This was to
be named the ‘Hawaiian Restaurant & Takeaway’. It was also potentially to
be joined in future with the Hatter’s Restaurant, then at 196 The Square –
which is the 1925 Mowlem Building. A permit was requested for further
alterations in 1987. The Hawaiian Café & Hawaiian Takeaways is still
present.
Downstairs
Wises 1929
106 Cuba St. – Premier Tire & Vulcanising Co.
Ltd. (?)
Wises 1930
106 Cuba St. – Henry J. Turner, tyre dealer;
Wises 1931-33
106 (& 270) Cuba St. - Henry J. Turner, tyre
dealer
Stones 1933
270-272 Cuba St. – Premier Vulcanising Works,
A.J. Thompson, proprietor
1934
Para Rubber Co. Ltd. moves into building in
Square backing onto this one.
Wises 1936-60
270 Cuba St. – Para Rubber Co. Ltd.’s repair
depot.
1983
Para Rubber Co. Ltd moved elsewhere
1983-now
274 Cuba St. - Hawaiian Café & Hawaiian
Takeaways
Upstairs
Wises 1930
124 Square John G. Fitzgerald, billiard saloon
Wises 1931
106a Cuba St (as ‘J.G.’)/124 Square – as ‘J.D.’
Fitzgerald, billiard saloon
Wises 1933
274 Cuba St/124 Square – J.D. Fitzgerald, billiard
saloon
1933-36
274 Cuba St. – John G. Fitzgerald, billiard saloon
(Stones & Wises)
Wises 1939
274 Cuba St/124 Square - John G. Fitzgerald,
billiard saloon
Manawatu phonebook entries
Page 152
Palmerston North City Council
Wises 1944-60
billiard saloon
1985 phonebook
1987-2006 phonebook
2010
276 Cuba St/113 Square – John G. Fitzgerald,
282 Cuba St. – Manelito’s of Mexico Restaurant
282 Cuba St. - Costa’s Restaurant
unknown
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
The building has high design values as a rare representative example of
the Spanish Mission style, pointing to the predominant style to be used
after the Napier earthquake, with Natusch’s firm designing a number in the
city following the disaster.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Spanish Mission style, which was to
become the most common style in Hawkes Bay following the 1931
earthquake. The street façade is simple, but follows the general
characteristic stepped parapet with parallel semi-circular headed windows
and with continuous sill moulding above the verandah.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The below verandah has been modified from the original.
The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.
The plan is described above.
The exterior is cement rendered.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design
values, rand representivity of building style and type.
This building has high historic values for its uses, particularly as a billiard
saloon. This was one of at least five in this block over the years, and is
one of two of these that are known to have been purpose-built. The other
is the nearby former Cosmopolitan Club building, which is also covered in
this study. The building also has high emotional values as an example of
the male-orientated culture of billiard saloons in their day.
The building has high historic values as it’s architect was, C T Natusch
whose practice was one of the most significant of the first half of the 20th
century in New Zealand.
Page 153
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
H
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
M
H
M
H
H
Page 154
Palmerston North City Council
Cuba Street, 284-286
UFS Chambers (formerly Urgent Medicine Dispensary)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Building’s Address:
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
284-286 Cuba Street
466 square metres more or less
Lot 2 and 4 DP 6285
WN304/270 (1923), prior CT WN133/184
(1904)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1961
William Thorrold-Jaggard
United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary
Wood & Robson
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
The U.F.S. (United Friendly Societies) Chambers is the youngest of the
buildings covered in this study. The reason for its inclusion is in part its
relationship to the UFSD building at the other end of the same property
facing The Square. Much of the general history of the property and the
United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary is covered with the study of that
building.
However, the building does have historical significance in its own right.
This was possibly Palmerston North’s first purpose-built urgent pharmacy.
Large numbers of older Palmerstonians would be able testify as to its
value to them or their loved ones for over two decades, during some time
of medical emergency. The Urgent Pharmacy, as it became known, was
the only means by which they could procure medicine at times when all
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Palmerston North City Council
other means of doing so were closed for the night or even for the entire
weekend.
Prior History
Information in PNCC Building Permit file C100/294-296 covering this
building, states that broken brick and concrete from the previous building
was used to fill in a cellar that still existed from that earlier building. A
photo in the 1950 booklet Palmerston North & District, New Zealand,
shows that building to have been a relatively small and fairly plain whitepainted two-storied building.305
Possibly an early tenant in that building was the printer firm of Thomas
Lindsay Buick and Henry Llewellyn Young, who leased premises on this
property for a five year term in 1901. This firm subsequently became H.L.
Young Ltd., and that once well-known Broadway business seems to have
remained a tenant in this location in Cuba Street until about the time UFSD
bought the property.
The Directories available for this study end in 1960, and the tenants
identified with the former building over a long period of time were the
Lamerton family. For example, the 1933 Stones Directory lists two shops
in this location, one being Mrs Ruth Lamerton’s ladies outfitter, and the
other (E.W. & J.W.) Lamerton & Son’s grocery shop. Lamerton’s grocery
shop disappeared between 1939 and 1944, while Ruth Lamerton’s shop on the Rangitikei Street side of the building and for many years described
as a drapery shop - was still listed in the 1959-60 Wises Directory. The
other shop was occupied by Quinn’s Stores Ltd. by 1944, and later by the
firm British Typewriter (Manawatu) Ltd.
The Owners
CT WN133/184 reveals that the trustees of the United Friendly Societies’
Dispensary bought this property in 1923. An earlier owner was James
Carroll, proprietor of the Clarendon Hotel. He died in 1905 and the
305
The booklet Palmerston North & District, New Zealand was published in 1950
by Whites Aviation., p. 2.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
property passed to the Public Trustee, which duly transferred the property
in 1907 to Mary Jane Sutherland, wife of Arthur Sutherland. She
subdivided the property into four Lots, and in 1923 she sold Lots 1 and 3
to the owners of the drapery firm Garner Bros., who had leased a shop at
the Cuba Street end of that property since 1906.306 She then sold Lots 2
and 4 to the UFSD. This building is on Lot 4, while the UFSD building
fronting The Square, is on Lot 2. The UFSD owned the property until 2002,
when it was sold to the present owners, Simon Francis and Catherine
Russ.
This Building
William Thorrold-Jaggard’s plans for this building are dated 20 March
1961.307 The building permit, No. 1421, was then issued to erect this
building on 31 July 1961 – the builders being Wood & Robson, and the
cost £17,600. The building contained two shops downstairs and two flats
upstairs. The flat on the left is the larger of the two, due to the stairs
reducing available space for the right-side flat. A ground floor passage
also runs the length of the building on the right side of the shops.
The PN City Library’s Photographic Collection contains Photo BC375 of
this building, and dating to soon after its construction. It is from the
architect’s own collection and no signage is evident, other than the title
“U.F.S. Chambers’ on the upper façade.308
The Urgent Medicine Dispensary
The purpose of the Urgent Medicine Dispensary (later known as the
Urgent Pharmacy) was to provide an after-hours emergency service as a
filler of medical prescriptions and other medical needs. This was especially
necessary in the days before shops were generally open at weekends,
306
I.R. Matheson, ‘The Birth of Palmerston North’, Evening Standard Supplement,
13 March 1971, inside front cover.
307
Note that the founder of the Thorrold-Jaggard architectural firm, Reginald
Thorrold-Jaggard, had died on 18 March 1960
308
Acc. No. 1572, Thorrold-Jaggard Collection, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN
City Library.
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Palmerston North City Council
and its evening opening hours reflected the city’s late night shopping
practices of their time. For example, it was always closed on Friday nights
as the central city shops routinely stayed open until 9:00pm then, meaning
other chemist shops were available at such times. When Thursday late
night shopping became routine (such as at Terrace End), the Urgent
Medical Dispensary stopped opening that night of the week as well –
leaving the task of supplying urgent medicines to the Terrace End chemist
shops.
Nowadays, such ‘after-hours’ pharmacies tend to be associated with afterhours’ medical centres, such as the one alongside City Doctors in Victoria
Avenue. Possibly the Urgent Medicine Dispensary’s key staff were also
drawn from the other pharmacies around the city on a roster system.
While the full history of this business has not been researched, the 1941
phonebook lists the Urgent Medicine Dispensary as being located in the
Regent Arcade. Its manager at the time was Edward Simpson. The 1936
Wises Directory indicates that the dispensary was at the western side of
the Regent Arcade, close to King Street. Its whereabouts was not traced
before or after those dates, until about 1950.
The 1951-1961 phonebooks list the Urgent Medicine Dispensary as
occupying a shop at 271 Cuba Street. This Dispensary was located in an
old block of shops alongside the Oroua Building and on land until recently
occupied by The Warehouse – and thus more or less opposite this
building. The dispensary was first listed at 294 Cuba Street (i.e., this
building) in the 1962 phonebook. However, while Edward Simpson had
been listed as manager through until the 1961 phonebook, he was gone
by 1962. Described as a chemist of 120 Cuba Street in the PNCC
cemetery records, he died on 29 July 1976, aged 77. Simpson had also
been manager of the United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary at The Square
end of this property in the 1950s.309
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The 1973 phonebook gives the hours the dispensary was then open.
These were Monday to Thursday: 6:30pm to 9:30pm; Saturdays and
public holidays: 10:00am to Noon, 2:00pm to 4:00pm, and 6:30pm to
9:30pm; and Sundays: 10:00am to Noon, and 6:30pm to 9:00pm. At that
time it was only closed on Friday nights.
The story of this building was not without incident, for example, in 18 July
1981, the Manawatu Evening Standard recorded that:
Palmerston North detectives are investigating a blaze which
badly damaged a flat above the Urgent Pharmacy in Cuba Street
early today.
The city fire brigade was called to the fire at 4:26am, and had
the blaze under control in a few minutes. Two machines and a
turntable ladder turned out.
Police believe it may have started in a wardrobe, and
because the flat was unoccupied, are trying to find out what caused
it.
Two (sic) other flats above the chemist shop suffered smoke
and water damage, but concrete walls slowed down the spread of
the fire so there was no danger to the occupants.
Today they had apparently moved out as firemen mopped up
and detectives and fire safety officers poked through the sodden
residue of the fire.
Because of water damage to stock and floor, the Urgent
Pharmacy moved to Glen Caves Pharmacy on Broadway for the
day. Water flooded the pharmacy and a hairdressing salon next
door through the ceiling.
The Urgent Pharmacy was expected to be cleaned up in time
for resumption of normal business tomorrow.310
310
309
UFSD and UMD entries in the 1951-1961 phonebooks.
Manawatu Evening Standard 18 July 1981, p. 1. Three days later the
newspaper reported (22/7/1981, p. 1) that overnight someone had put glue in the
keyholes of about forty shops in Broadway, Rangitikei, Cuba and Main Streets, and
The Square – including to Glen Caves Pharmacy.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Despite the apparent ease at which life was expected go on after the fire,
possibly the task was larger than initially believed – and certainly it took a
while to complete. For example, a building permit was applied for to erect
a roof only at the UFS pharmacy on 1 September 1981, about six weeks
after the fire.311 The fire reinstatement plans, drawn up by Gillman
Partners, are dated 7 October 1981, and these revolve around the
refurbishment of the two flats, with various new kitchen, laundry and
bathroom fittings being installed. Permit No. 5136 was then issued on 9
November 1981 for the reinstatement plan.312 Perhaps as a delayed part of
the job, a permit was also applied for on 24 September 1982 to repair the
verandah roof.313
The tenant in the other shop at the time of the fire, Salon Cynthia, possibly
also briefly moved to a shop across the road, as in the 1982 phonebook its
address was 285 Cuba Street, whereas its normal street number was an
even number.
The last phonebook in which the Urgent Medicine Dispensary was listed
as being at this address, was 1982. The following year, it was listed as
being in Terrace End, on the corner of Main and Ruahine Streets, a shop
previously occupied by the John Cromie Pharmacy. The Sugar Plum Fairy
Shop now occupies that old pharmacy.
Shop closest to George Street (now 284 Cuba St.)
About 1961-1981 (or ‘82)
294 Cuba St. Dispensary
Now
284 Cuba St. - Nuddy
Urgent
1967 or 1969-1989
294 (298 from 1983) Cuba St. – Salon Cynthia314
1990-1991 phonebooks 298 Cuba St. – Headline Hairdressers
2008-Now
298 (s/be 286) Cuba St. - Ken’s Kitchen
Upstairs (now 284A Cuba St.)
Unknown
Comments:
The U.F.S. Chambers was built as a special purpose pharmacy for a time
before weekend shopping, and to accommodate the needs of the city and
district to have medical prescriptions filled out outside the normal trading
hours of the time. Having a ‘captive’ customer base, it had no need to
target foot traffic, and probably being in a central location just outside the
main shopping area, was also an advantage in terms of customer access
in its day. How the location of its replacement at Terrace End might have
fared in terms of convenience to its customers has not been researched –
although clearly that site was much closer to the hospital where the afterhours prescriptions might have been issued.
Medicine
Shop closest to Rangitikei Street (now 286 Cuba St.)
311
PNCC Building Permit file C100/294-296
PNCC Building Permit file T25/186-187. Note that this is the file of the main
UFSD building in The Square – which backs onto this building.
313
PNCC Building Permit file C100/294-296
312
314
Salon Cynthia applied for sanitary plumbing and drainage on 21 October of
either 1967 or 1969 (the year is semi-legible). PNCC Building Permit file C100/294296. Last in 1989 phonebook
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and level of external authenticity.
This building has moderate historic values in its association with the
United Friendly Society Dispensary, a mutual aid society first established
in England, for which the building was constructed.
The building has moderate historic values in its association with its
architect, W Thorrald-Jaggard worked with his father, whose practice was
the most prolific and well-known of the architects practising in Palmerston
North on the latter half of the twentieth century.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Inter- War Modern Movement Functionalist style.
Group in Cuba Street
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Modern Movement Functionalist style with
simple rectangular forms and a single band of windows. The symmetry of
the building and the original style have similarities to Classical architecture
with implied cornice and pilasters either side of the band of windows.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Edwardian Italianate style, a popular for commercial buildings in the
late Victorian and Edwardian period.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.
A faded copy of drawings from 1971 show the ground floor plan as having
two shops on the ground floor with a corridor on one side leading to the
rear. This gave service access to the building at the rear of the UFS
building, which faced The Square. A 1981 plans shows the first floor as
two one bed roomed flats with living rooms at the street front of the
building and bedrooms at the rear with a bathrooms, kitchen and dining in
the centre of the building.
None of the drawings shows the construction of the building
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
M
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
M
H
M
H
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Palmerston North City Council
George Street, 5-7, Cuba Street 236
Former RSA Building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
306 square metres more or less
Lot 1 DP 76945
WN44A/81 (1994). prior CTs: WN43A/714
(1993), WN250/69 (1917), WN18/296,
WN23/105 (1881).
Category II315
1269
Category II
43
1917
Ludolph Georg West
Anzac Club & Manawatu Patriotic Society
Rolfe & Dickel
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
It is many years since this building ceased its role as the R.S.A clubrooms,
however, the home front wartime heritage it represents maintains its
historical significance. The online index of the Manawatu Evening
Standard under the search word “Anzac Club”316 brings up dozens of
entries for fundraising activities throughout the First World War. The
building undoubtedly gave an outlet to a wide range of people wishing to
contribute to the support of “our boys” in such a time of international
trauma.
315
316
PNCC Schedule of Buildings and Objects of Cultural Heritage Value
This index is found on the website of the PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
Prior History
CT WN18/296, one of the two pre-1917 CT’s associated with this property,
was not sighted during this study. However, the 1914 Wises’ Directory lists
the occupant of the site then as William Thomas Baston’s cycle depot.
Next door in the relocated old pre-1910 fire station, was the Palmerston
Men’s Social Club and the Palmerston Museum. By the 1916 Directory,
Baston had gone. However, the Museum and the Social Club were still
present in 1925, along with this building.
In July 1916, Percy A. McHardy, a wealthy local farmer, donated this
section on the corner of Cuba and George Streets to the Patriotic Society
and Anzac Committee, and “the property eventually being disposed of by
art union in aid of the club. This proved highly successful, and after
accounts had been adjusted it was ascertained that the funds were
sufficient to put the construction under way, the committee wisely
arranging for the retention of the property as a site for the club.”317 The
property was then issued with CT 250/69 to the Manawatu Patriotic
Society Incorporated, under ‘The War Funds Act 1915’.
The Building
Plans began in 1916 to build a facility for returning troops who might be
based in the military camp then at Awapuni, or who were passing through
Palmerston North. Prior to its construction these troops had used a
temporary facility at the Opera House.
The original plans were for a four-storey building with three large shops on
the ground floor. The first floor was to contain a social room, a parcel
room, and a club office. The second floor was planned to have a reading
room, a billiard room, two writing rooms and a smoking room, while the top
floor was to have a sitting room, a kitchen, dining room, a number of
sleeping dormitories, two bathrooms and lavatories, and a caretaker’s
bedroom. Provision had also been made for a roof garden.318 However,
317
318
Manawatu Evening Standard 19 November 1917 5(2)
Manawatu Evening Standard 18 October 1916 5(1)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
there was public concern at this ambitious scheme, with the editor of the
Manawatu Evening Standard commenting that perhaps something more
utilitarian might be preferable, given the number of men coming home
injured – or not at all.319 There was also a concern that “a club of the kind
it was proposed to build in Palmerston would encourage men to hang
about and live on the conveniences at their disposal.”320
As a result of such views, the building was reduced to two floors,
consisting mainly of social rooms. The amended plan eliminated the
ground floor shops and substituted various social rooms.321 Tenders were
duly called for on 19 December 1916, and the successful tenderers were
Messrs Rolfe & Dickel, at a cost of £5,980 in reinforced concrete, or
£6,170 in steel. The £5,980 tender was accepted. The foundation stone
was ceremonially laid on 28 February 1917, and the building was
described then as going to be “the most elaborate of its kind in New
Zealand.” 322
A permit to erect a hoarding relating to the job was issued to Rolfe &
Dickel on 29 January 1917. The permit to erect the building was then
granted on 19 February 1917.323 Harry Dickel, in his latter working years,
was the builder in the partnership with bricklayer R.E. Kempson that built
the Brick & Pipes Ltd. office block in Featherston Street. Dickel’s father (or
possibly grandfather) had been one of the town’s first builders.324
319
Manawatu Evening Standard 18 October 1916 4(6)
Manawatu Evening Standard 25 October 1916 2(3-4)
321
Manawatu Evening Standard 11 November 1916 7(4)
322
Manawatu Evening Standard 19 December 1916 8(7), 20 January 1917 5(1), 1
March 1917 7(4)
323
Building Permit Register, Vol. 1, PNCC Series 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library (Building Permit No’s 2473 and 2485)
324
See also Manawatu Evening Standard, 2/9/1910 1(1) & obituary 3/9/1910 5(1);
and
Jim Lundy, Nine Thousand Bricks a Day: The Hoffman Kiln and the Brickworks of
Palmerston North (Palmerston North, 2005), pp. 49, 50, 72
320
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Palmerston North City Council
The Manawatu Evening Standard of 19 November 1917 published a
description of the building, which was then receiving its final touches and
about two weeks from occupancy:
The building, which has a frontage of 50 feet on Cuba
Street and 46 on George Street, has a substantial well-built
appearance, and is a welcome addition to that quarter of town. The
front elevation shows a design in fine Doric colonnade of the double
order, finished off with a roofing in French tiles. The walls are of
brick and the construction fireproof throughout. The main entrance
is on George Street, where an eight-foot hallway reaches all the
rooms of the ground floor. On the left is the billiard room, 33ft. by
33ft., which will accommodate two tables, and when required may
be heated by means of radiators. The walls are 12ft., giving a lofty,
airy appearance, whilst the ceilings are nicely relieved with wood
panelling. The other rooms on this floor are the reading room 38ft.
by 15ft., writing room 24ft. by 18ft., office 20ft by 10ft, and parcels
room 10ft. by 10ft. In addition there are lavatories etc., and in the
basement the boilers are located for supplying the hot water service
and other heating arrangements.
A concrete stairway leads from the hall to the first floor,
where the principal apartment is the social hall. This measures 48ft
by 38ft and is thoroughly up to date with its appointments, being
provided with a wood sprung floor over the concrete floor for
dancing purposes, and there are ample lighting and heating
arrangements. The ceiling has been tastefully finished off with a
pretty steel design, and altogether the hall has a roomy and
handsome appearance. From the hall, entrance may be gained to
the 12ft balcony, which extends round both fronts of the building,
70ft. of which is enclosed, and may be used as a lounge or antirooms. Convenient to the hall are the kitchen and refreshment
counters, the former measuring 19ft by 12ft. This department has
been equipped with the latest labour-saving devices for the quick
and economical preparation of meals and refreshments, and the
patent decolite flooring is an innovation that will be appreciated by
those whose labours lay in this quarter. There is generous provision
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
for ladies’ cloak room, bathrooms and lavatories, the general
appointments being up to date in all respects.
The building will be lighted by gas, but a wiring system has
also been put through the structure for an electric installation at any
future time. The foundations and walls have been substantially
constructed, and will support another two stories should this be
desired, while portions of the walls may be removed and shop fronts
put in, which was the idea in the first design. Altogether the club
appears to be excellently built and adapted for the purpose for
which it was constructed, and there is no doubt it will fulfil a useful
mission in the community.
The cost of the building was £6,500, and the upkeep has
been largely provided for by the income from the balance of the
funds in hand.
Among the contractors were Messrs A. Clark & Co, who
carried out the painting, while Messrs L.G. West & Son designed the
building and superintended its construction.325
PNCC Building Permit file G 5/1-9 records that in 1945, alterations to the
building were made for the Manawatu Patriotic Society to the value of
£481. Specifications by Ernst V. West, of the firm L.G. West & Son, dated
November 1945, indicate that this work involved the removal of a brick
partition in the existing library and wireless room, so as to allow for the
enlargement of the billiard room. It also involved closing the bays at each
end of the balcony (i.e. there had been two bays left open, one facing each
street), so as to provide a reading room and card room. Also a brick
partition and a basement were to form a store. A fire escape was to be
constructed to seven feet from the footpath. Furthermore the work was to
be done with as little inconvenience as possible to club activities, while any
rubbish was to be cleared up daily.
325
Manawatu Evening Standard 19 November1917 5(2)
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Palmerston North City Council
The Returned Services Association
The R.S.A. is understood to have used the building until its sale to Anchor
Holdings in 1970. The RSA then moved to the former Manawatu Daily
Times building in Broadway Avenue – a building that has only recently
been sold.
Subsequent Owners.
CT WN250/69 records the lease of part of the property (Lot 1) to
Mathewsons Ltd. for a term of 5 years from 12 May 1930. It then records
the transfer of the property in 1970 to Anchor Holdings Ltd., and then to
the PN City Council in 1974. A new CT (WN43A/714) was then issued in
1993, and this was duly replaced by the present CT (WN44A/81) in 1994.
The property was transferred to Major Cole Enterprises Ltd. in 1995, and
then to No. 1 George Street Ltd. in 2004, before being transferred to the
present owners, Richard Peter Alach and Alice Marrie Van Den Hout in
2007.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
N. Potter was in this location in the 1936-39 Wises Directories. Frank Jones was
listed as hairdressing in this location in the 1944-60 Wises Directories. Meanwhile
the 1950-54 Directories indicate that Wilson’s’ Furnishers may have been
operating from the corner shop. Photo: Whites Aviation Ltd., Palmerston North &
District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
Additions & Alterations
In 1970, the Four Acres Restaurant applied for a permit for plumbing and
drainage work. In 1994, a permit was applied for by Major Cole
Enterprises to remove a partition between the corner shop and the shop
on the Cuba Street frontage, in order to enlarge the café. The work was
valued at $1,000. In 1995, the George Street shop was fitted up as a
hairdressing salon.
An array of other internal alterations to such things as toilets, bathrooms, a
shop entrance, etc., have also occurred since the mid-1990s.
The Building Permit file C100/248-250 also covers this building’s Cuba
Street perspective. This refers to the installation of a dishwasher and the
relocation of a basin for the Prince Tandoorj Indian Cuisine restaurant, at
248 Cuba Street, in 1993, and this work apparently being signed off in
1995. The restaurant, however, is only listed in the 1994 phonebook.
Current Occupants
The corner shop, 236 Cuba Street, is now occupied by Café Cuba, while
the shop at 7 George Street is now occupied by Yoo’s Hair Sketch. The
first floor occupancy is unknown.
Comments:
Additional research is required in relation to the RSA’s
occupancy of and its departure from this building, and on the subsequent
registration of this building on 2 July 1982 by the NZ Historic Places Trust.
The RSA Building about 1950. The photo shows what appears to be striped
barber’s shop poles on the Cuba Street left frontage. This indicates the shop that in
1994 was incorporated into the café, now Café Cuba. A hairdresser named William
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The style of the building owes much to the new world Regency and later
Georgian styles, as seen in Australia, India, and Singapore. It is
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Palmerston North City Council
characterised by simple hipped roofs, flat dormer windows below the
roofline, and colonnaded verandahs. As with examples of this style of
architecture in other countries, living areas were often created from the
upper level verandah with the colonnade providing shelter over the
footpath. The ground floor plan allows for separate retail tenancies, with
the main social spaces of the building located on the upper floor via a
generous stair and entrance off the south elevation.
A 1994 plan of the ground floor shows two shops with angled ingos on
George Street either side of the entry giving access to the first floor. The
corner shop is recessed from the street and has a diagonal wall separating
it from the shop on Cuba Street. Toilets are located opposite the corner
shop behind the stairs to the first floor. There are no plans available for
the first floor.
Visible construction is timber framing and joinery with corrugated steel
roofing, and cast iron posts.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high regional significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and level of external authenticity.
This building has high historic and emotional values as a notable
expression of community concern for the well–being of returning World
War I troops. Rehabilitation of returned soldiers was a consuming matter
for the country following the First World War and this building is a
conspicuous consequence of that.
The building has moderate historical values in its association with the
architect L G West, whose firm was responsible for a large number of
Palmerston North's buildings. Among those still standing designed by the
practice are the Former Club Hotel (1905), the Manawatu–Kilwinning
Masonic Lodge (1908), the Old Soldiers Club (1917), and the Church of
Christ. Scientist (1931) and Ward Brothers Building (1935). Ernst was a
borough Councillor 1921–25.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The building has high design values as an outstanding example of a rare
Regency style of building in New Zealand with contributes to the building a
landmark in the George and Cuba Street streetscape.
The building is one of a number of buildings in the Cuba Street, George
Street, Coleman Place and The Square area which, when considered
collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of a similar age, general
style, form, use, and scale.
The building’s street façade design has a high level of authenticity.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Existing category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high regional
1
Contextual
Measure
H
H
H Authenticity
M
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
H
Page 165
H
H
H
H
Palmerston North City Council
George Street, 34-40
Andrews Building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
304 square metres more or less
Lot 9 DP 27
WN46B/489
(1995);
prior
CT:
WN26/135(1881)
Nil
Nil
Nil
154
1929
O.A. Jorgenson
Samuel Andrews (Efstratios Andreanatos)
Mouldy & Holmes
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This building consists of four small shops and three flats upstairs, two with
single bedrooms, and one with two bedrooms. Its unique feature becomes
apparent when the family that built it becomes known – its façade
recreating the appearance of the buildings of ancient Greece for more
reasons than just fashion.
Prior History
CT WN26/135 was issued to George Matthew Snelson in 1881, before
passing to William Akers, a local sheepfarmer in 1889. He sold it to John
Robert Tripe, a local dentist, in 1892. He died in 1899, and the property
was transmitted in 1900 to his widow, Harriette Mary Tripe, and William
Archibald Dampier Tripe, an accountant. They leased it to James Alfred
Nash in 1901, and he sub-let the property to various people, and amongst
the businesses located there was a blacksmith’s shop. A photo of this
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Palmerston North City Council
shop as H.J. Lauridsen’s blacksmith and farrier shop between c1907 and
c1911, appears on page 57 of the book Early Manawatu
Scandinavians326. The 1925 Wises Directory still shows Henry Boyle’s
blacksmith’s shop present at this site at that time.
Ownership of the property was transferred to other members of the Tripe
family in 1925, and in 1928, they transferred it to Samuel Andrews, a
restaurant proprietor of Dannevirke. It remained in his family until 1985.
This Building
O.A. Jorgenson drew up the plans for this building in November 1928, and
tenders were advertised for on 12 November 1928. It was described as a
two-storied building of reinforced concrete. The Building Permit for what
was then described as at brick and concrete building, was then issued on
4 December 1928. The value was £3,939, and the successful tenderers
were Mouldey & Holmes.327
The plans show that the largest of the three flats is at the Cuba Street end
of the building. This flat also has brick walls separating it from the other
two flats. The larger flat also looks out over an iron roof covering two of the
shops below. It is not clear from the plans as to what was referred to as
the balcony, which was mentioned at the time of the 1997 fire (see below).
Three of the four shops are of a similar size, however, Shop 3 (on the
Cuba St. side of the entrance to the flats) loses some of its width to the
entrance hall.
Samuel Andrews
At first glance, the name “Andrews Building” conjures up an impression
that this is named after a British family and in that respect it becomes ‘just
another building among many’. However, the Andrews family that had this
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
building erected was Greek. They had anglicised their surname –
presumably just as many non-British immigrants had also chosen to do in
order to blend into the majority community. The headstones at Kelvin
Grove Cemetery of the couple who erected this building identify them as
Erstratios and Stavroula Andreanatos, and Stavroula was to eventually live
out the last two decades of her life in one of the three flats in this building.
Possibly they also lived there when they first moved to Palmerston North
in the early 1930s, at which time their shop was nearby and no occupants
are listed for this building in the various directories.
The only people surnamed Andrews in the NZ Naturalisation records (to
1948) and the 1917 Alien Registration records, were all born in Greece.
The oldest of them, George Andrews, was aged 47 when he was
naturalised on 5 October 1893. At the time he was a fishmonger of
Wellington. By 1917, he was a 70-year-old Paramata fisherman. He was
also a widower who had been in New Zealand 45 years – meaning that he
arrived about 1872. The other seven Andrews’ were a generation younger,
and mostly followed similar occupations (fishermen and fishmongers),
albeit that by 1917 most lived in Auckland. Two of the three naturalisations
traced gave the Greek town of birth. At that time, wives took the
nationalities of their husbands, so were not usually naturalised in their own
right. One of these two naturalisations (John Andrews) gives his birth town
as “Ithaca”, while the other (Samuel Andrews using his Greek name) uses
“Ithaka” – both spellings are valid.
The website Wikipedia states the island: “Ithaca or Ithaka is an island
located in the Ionian Sea, in Greece, with an area of 45 square miles and
a little more than three thousand inhabitants. It is an independent
municipality of the Kefallinia Prefecture, and lies off the northeast coast of
Kefalonia. The municipality of Ithaca includes some smaller islands as
well. The capital, Itháki (Vathý), has one of the world's largest natural
harbours. Modern Ithaca is generally identified with Homer's Ithaca, the
326
Scandinavian Club of Manawatu, Early Manawatu Scandinavians: Skandia 1
(Palmerston North, 1999 edition)
327
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, p. 394, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library. Manawatu Evening Standard 12 November 1928 2(1)
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Palmerston North City Council
home of Odysseus, whose delayed return to the island is the subject of the
Odyssey.”328
Traditionally, a large percentage of the island’s working population are
sailors, and fishing is a major occupation there329 - and clearly that
appears to have been in the background of the Andrews family.
Ithaca is noted for having had a unique architectural style for the region,
this having a strong Ionian influence. Features had included such things as
no balconies and efforts to make structures like miniature fortresses in an
attempt to make them pirate-proof – although that problem largely
dissipated in the latter 16th century. In 1953, an earthquake measuring 7.2
on the Richter scale, caused massive destruction on the island, including
through fires that resulted, and hundreds of people died. As a result, over
70% of buildings on the island were demolished and earthquake-resistant
buildings took their place. Many people also emigrated after this.330
Samuel’s entry in the 1917 Alien Register stated that he was then aged 23
and had been in New Zealand seven years. His occupation was given as a
restaurant proprietor of Napier. His wife, also Greek, was listed as “C.
Andrews”, aged 22 and she had New Zealand four years.331 By 1925, his
address was listed in the Wises Directory as 61 High Street, Dannevirke,
where he had a restaurant. He was naturalised, as “Stratos Andreanatios”,
on 16 January 1925, giving his birth date as 1 January 1892, and his
328
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ithaca
The Facts About Ithaca http://www.ithacagreece.com/Facts/facts.html
330
Ithaca Architecture: Information about the architecture of Ithaca Greece, Ionian
http://www.greeka.com/ionian/ithaca/ithaca-architecture.htm ; Ithaca: The
catastrophic earthquake in 1953 on Ithaca Greece, Ionian
http://www.greeka.com/ionian/ithaca/ithaca-architecture/ithaca-earthquake1953.htm
331
New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs: Register of Aliens, 1917
(Wellington, c1918), p. 430 (Napier Borough). There are also entries for Greek
Andrews’ on p. 349 (Auckland Borough) and p. 246 (Hutt City) – a total of seven
persons, including three wives, all born in Greece.
329
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
occupation as a restaurant-keeper of Dannevirke.332 The 1929 Directory
still lists him as living at Dannevirke - by which time this building had been
erected.
By the 1933 Stones Directory he was a fishmonger at 86 The Square,
Palmerston North, this shop being between the Grand Hotel and the
railway lines. The 1936 Directory listed him as the managing director of the
Palmerston North Fish Supply Co. Ltd., of 86 The Square. By 1938 he was
living at 19 Florence Avenue, and by 1940 his private residence was in
College Street West at Awapuni. Meanwhile, by the 1941 phonebook, his
business in The Square belonged to Tait & Co., wholesale and retail fish
merchants. The 1941 phone book also lists the “Palmerston North Fish
Co. Ltd.” as being in Rangitikei Street and later listings in the early 1950s
show 15 Rangitikei Street, although its ownership is unknown.
Samuel died while still living at College Street on 14 January 1954, aged
64. Stavroula had moved from College Street by 1955, and by the 1960
Wises Directory, she was living in one of the three flats in this building.
She was still listed as living there at the time of her death at the Ewart
Hospital, Wellington, on 16 April 1981, aged 88.333
Subsequent Owners
In 1954, after Samuel’s death, the property was transferred into the names
of Stavroula Andrews and Gordon Trevor Rapley, a PN Solicitor. In 1975,
Stavroula’s name was replaced on the CT with that of her son Spero
Andrews, a Wellington restaurateur. The year after her death in 1981, the
property was transferred in to Spero’s name alone. It was then transferred
in 1985 to Tunbridge Wells Ltd. of Christchurch – which in turn became
332
Register of persons Naturalised in New Zealand before 1948: Non
Commonwealth. There are three entries, George Andrews, Wellington fishmonger
(naturalised 5/10/1893 aged 47), John Andrews, Wellington fishmonger
(naturalised 11/1/1928, aged 48), and Samuel Andrews listed under the name
Stratos Andreanatios.
333
Manawatu Evening Standard, 15 January 1954 1(1), 18 April 1981, p. 27,
PNCC online cemetery records
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Palmerston North City Council
Tunwell Corporation Ltd. in 1991, before being transferred in 1992 to
Gloria Joan Cameron and John Gavan Cameron, of Feilding. It was
transferred to the present owner, Fair Investments Ltd., in 1995. The
present CT WN46B/489 was then issued.
The Fire
This building is yet another in the area to have suffered a fire - a woman
being charged with arson as a result. The fire broke out in a bedroom of
th
one flat at about 9:00pm on Sunday, 7 December 1997. That flat was
gutted and the fire then got into the ceiling, causing smoke to billow
through the other two flats. Occupants of one of the other flats learned of
the fire when someone knocked on their door and yelled to them. They
escaped without their shoes, but did remember their two kittens – and then
were rescued off a balcony at the back of the building by a fire fighter. The
fire was under control within 15 minutes, but two extra fire engines had
been called due to the potential for the fire to spread to the adjacent shops
and flats. The fire safely officer was concerned at the lack of fire safely
protection devices, such as smoke alarms, in the building.334
Additions & Alterations
Other than the collection of original plans for this building335, Building
Permit file G5/40-48 contains little on it, other than a certificate of
compliance from 1997 (before the fire).
The Occupants
Noteworthy amongst the occupants of the shops is the hairdresser’s shop
that gradually morphed into a radio shop, the saddlery shop that was in
this building for about thirty years before moving to the Commercial
Building in The Square, and the Union Steamship Company’s shop. Miss
Annie Newman ran “The Hat Shoppe” for over a decade, while living
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
upstairs with Mrs Annie Draper336, another milliner, who died on 16 March
1945 aged 69, with cemetery records stating that her address was still
George St.
Shop (1) nearest Main Street. Now 40 George Street
Stones 1933-Wises 1944
41/52 George St. - Miss Annie Newman,
millinery specialist
Wises 1950-60
52 George St. – Union Steam Ship Co. of NZ
2009-Now
40 George St. - Ink Tattoo Studio (was # 44)
www.inktattoostudio.co.nz
Shop (2) Now 38 George Street
Stones 1933
Henry Sparrow Wycherley, saddler
Wises 1936-44
43/50 George St. - Henry S. Wycherley, saddler
(died 27/9/1956 aged 80)
Wises 1950-60
50 George St. – A.E. Williams, saddler
2009
38 George St. - Crate Creations
Now
empty
Upstairs. Now 36A George Street
Stones 1933
unknown
Wises 1939
48 George St. – Brian Trehey, traveller
Phonebook 1941
48 George St. – Mrs A. Draper & Miss A.
Newman in Flat 1
Wises 1944
48 George St. – Mrs Annie Draper
Wises 1950-51 48 George St. – James Regos, salesman; W.
Shirley, postal sorter; P.R. Young
Wises 1953-54
48 George St. – James Regos, salesman; Mrs A.
Sinclair; V.W. Boyens; P.R. Young
Wises 1957
48 George St. – James Regos, salesman; M.M.
Wilson; Mrs P.R. Young
Wises 1960
48 George St. – Mrs Stavrula Andrews; Mark M.
Wilson; Mrs P.R. Young
334
Manawatu Evening Standard 8 December 1997, p. 1
The original plans are held at the Ian Matheson City Archives, Plans 20//40-48,
PNCC 4/13/6
335
336
1941 phonebook
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Palmerston North City Council
Now
unknown
Shop (3) Now 36 George Street
Stones 1933
Miss E. Batters, department manageress
Wises 1936-39
47/46 George St. - Mrs Ethyl Woller, pastrycook
Wises 1944-54
46 George St. – James R. Davy, pastrycook
Wises 1957-60
46 George St. – Bobby’s Cafeteria & Milk Bar
2007-Now
36 George St. – Posh www.poshfashion.co.nz
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The construction of the flats appears to be reinforced concrete with timber
joinery and roof structure, with timber and tiled shop fronts.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and type and level of external
authenticity.
Shop (4) nearest Cuba Street. Now 34 George Street
Stones 1933
Walter Smart Ingram, hairdresser & tobacconist
Wises 1936-39
49/44 George St. – Walter Ingram, hairdresser
Wises 1944
44 George St. – Leicester D. Matson, hairdresser
Wises 1950-51
44 George St. – E.G. Cook, hairdresser
Wises 1953-54
44 George St. – Ted Cook, radio & Electrical
dealer, tobacconist
Wises 1957
44 George St. – Ted Cook, radio dealer
Wises 1959-60
44 George St. - Frocks Unlimited Ltd., frock
specialists
Now
34 George St. - Adelphi Finance Ltd.
This building has moderate historic values in its association with
Erstratios and Stavroula Andreanatos and their family, who were
naturalised New Zealanders from Ithaca in Greece.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The original drawings show the building designed in the Inter-War Stripped
Classical style with symmetrical street façade, simple stepped parapet,
cornice, above-verandah pilastered central bay with largely unadorned
bays either side. The four shop fronts, also symmetrically designed
around the centre of the building have angled ingos, and above shop front
clerestory.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
The ground floor plans show almost identical shops with a central entry to
a stair hall and toilets and open area at the rear. The first floor (noted as
the “second floor”) shows the centrally located stairs leading to a central
passage off which are two one bed roomed flats and one two bed roomed
flat.
The building has a moderate level of historic association with its
architect, Oscar Jorgenson a well-known local architect. Jorgenson also
designed 137-143 Cuba Street, another building in the proposed North
West Square Heritage Area.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Inter- War Free Classical style, which has a Greek acroterion in the
centre of the parapet, likely to be a reference to the origins of the owners.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The exterior of the building has high levels of authenticity.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
M
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
H
H
M
M
H
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Palmerston North City Council
George Street, 37
Library/DIC building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
3779 square metres more or less
Lot 2 DP 81805
WN48B/604
(1997);
prior
CTs:
WN45D/111 (1996) & others
Category One337
1256
Category II
35
Stage 1: c1905. Stage 2: 1927
Stage 1: Unknown
Stage 2: A.R. Allen & H.L. Hickson
C.M. Ross Co. Ltd.
Stage 1: Unknown. Stage 2: McMillan
Bros
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This building is now the George Street entrance to the Palmerston North
City Library, and it is linked both physically, as well as through its shared
history, to the ownership of the main part of the library building – that part
fronting The Square. It was built in two stages by the firm C.M. Ross & Co.
Ltd., more or less taking its present form in 1927-28 as part of the main
construction work facing The Square.
The C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd. department store, popularly known as
“Rosco’s”, became Milne & Choyce in 1959, and then the D.I.C. in 1966.
The D.I.C. group was sold to the Arthur Barnett firm in 1987, and then in
337
PNCC Schedule of Buildings and Objects of Cultural Heritage Value
Page 172
Palmerston North City Council
1989, the building was rebranded as an Arthur Barnett store. The store
closed in August 1991, and the Palmerston North City Council then
purchased it in 1992 for conversion to a new city library. The new Central
Library was opened on 25 May 1996.
The Building
Lesley Courtenay’s booklet, The House that Quality and Value Built: The
C.M. Ross Co. Ltd. story, records that in 1905, the firm built a brick
building behind the story that gave it a George Street frontage. A photo of
that building dated c1908 is published on page 4 of the book. This shows a
single storey brick building with a wide central entranceway, bordered by
two large windows. This same single storey building is still present in a
postcard on page 8 of the book, and dated between 1916 and 1926.
Plans showing the present building are located at the Ian Matheson City
Archives. One set of these is entitled “George St. Elevation – Showing
Additional Storey”. This plan shows this building, but with some different
features. Plan No. 9 of the Allen-Hickson (1927-28) set, shows the
building’s new façade, including the words “The C.M. Ross Co. Ltd” to be
written at the top beneath the flag pole, while three of the five first floor
windows were recorded on the plans as being reused. In fact the central
three windows were being recycled from their “present” situation - which
was at the other end of the building facing The Square, and from the part
of the building that had been erected in 1915-16. Meanwhile those of
either side of the recycled windows were to be new, but identical. Although
the large central window has been replaced (like all of the same design on
the neighbouring old tearooms building of the same vintage, which were
gone by the 1980s), the other four appear very similar to the set installed
here in 1927-28.
Plan 11 of this set, by architects A.R. Allen & H.L. Hickson, shows the
“ground floor of existing work”. This goes from The Square to George
Street and shows the George Street end to be a large showroom. The
exterior walls were not to be disturbed, but all the other walls were to be
removed.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
In 1928, a building permit was issued to C.M. Ross Co. Ltd, for a building
in George Street, to the value of £8,000. The Building Permit Register
indicates that it was of brick or concrete.338 Possibly this was an adjoining
building on the Main Street of this building.
At present this building is occupied by the city library, and also by the firm
Bruce McKenzie Books, which occupies the ground floor shop at 37
George St.
Comments:
Additional information on this block of buildings is located
in the studies of the other three Rosco buildings covered here (those in
Coleman Place and the main one facing The Square), and all four should
be read in conjunction. Further research is required to clarify some matters
relating to the chronology of this building, including its registration with the
NZ Historic Places Trust on 2 July 1982.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The alterations of 1928 modified the existing single storey building to the
current two storey building to have a consistent style to the main C and M
Ross store, Chicagoesque. This was a style that came from the steel
framed buildings of Chicago of the early 20th century which were faced
with a façade using the architectural language of Classical architecture.
Consistent with the style, the Library exterior design is characterised by
the exuberant use of Classical elements such as large cornices, and giant
orders, but with a horizontal and vertical emphasis and large areas of
glass, allowed for by the use of a steel frame.
The interior of the building was largely removed in the 1997
redevelopment of the library, leaving only the exterior walls.
338
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, p. 393, 1928, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This entire library building has high regional significance for historical
and design values, representivity of building style and level of external
authenticity.
This entire library building has high historic and emotional values in its
historic association with the CM Ross and Co. department store and its
successor, Milne and Choyce. The store was regarded as an institution in
the city. The 1927 building was the firm's crowning achievement and at
the time the grandest department store yet erected in Palmerston North.
The building has successfully been redeveloped as the city library, which
retains the focus it once had as the premier department store.
The building also has high historic values in its association with the
architect of the 1928 alterations, A R Allen, a Palmerston North architect of
the mid twentieth century who designed buildings in Napier, Gisborne, and
Palmerston North. H L Hickson, with whom Allen designed the building,
practised for a period up until 1935 with Rotorua architect H E Goodwin. It
is also associated with the architectural firm, Athfield Architects Ltd., who
designed the redevelopment and whose design was awarded a NZIA
National award.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Existing category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high regional
1
Contextual
Measure
H
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
H
The whole of the library building has high design values as a rare and
successful example of Chicagoesque while the building’s scale, style, and
location give the building landmark significance in the urban design of
central Palmerston North.
The building is one of a number of buildings in the Cuba Street, George
Street, Coleman Place and The Square area which, when considered
collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of a similar age, general
style, form, use, and scale.
The building’s above verandah street façade design is largely authentic.
Page 174
H
H
H
H
Palmerston North City Council
George Street, 42-50
Nash Building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZ PT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZ PT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
357 square metres more or less
Lot 10 & Pt Lot 11 DP 27
WN548/84 (1949); prior CT WN31/270
(1882)
Category Two339
Nil
Nil
37
Stage 1: 1925. Stage 2: 1929
Stage 1: H. Leslie Hickson
Stage 2: O.A. Jorgensen
Mrs J.A. Nash (Elizabeth Lily Nash)
Stage 1: unknown.
Stage 2: Drinnan & Price
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This building was erected for Elizabeth Lily Nash, wife of long-time Mayor
of Palmerston North (1908-1923) and Member of Parliament for
Palmerston North (1918-1935), James Alfred Nash.340 He and his firm are
outlined in the story in this study of the one-time linked ‘The Arcade’
buildings in Coleman Place and Cuba Street. He (and to some extent
339
PNCC Schedule of Buildings and Objects of Cultural Heritage Value
Ian Matheson, Council & Community: 125 years of Local Government in
Palmerston North (Palmerston North, 2003), pp. 92, 99
340
Page 175
Palmerston North City Council
Elizabeth) is also the subject of a biography in Volume Four of The
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography.341
The Nash Building began in 1925 as four shops with flats upstairs, and
then a matching shop was added at the Cuba Street end in 1929. The join
between the two is visible in the brickwork of the façade.
Prior History
CT WN31/270 was issued to Louisa Matilda Snelson, wife of George
Snelson in 1882. She sold it to John Carmody, a local contractor, in 1889,
and he in turn sold it to Elizabeth Lily Keogh, a Palmerston North spinster,
in 1894. She then married James Alfred Nash on 14 February 1895.
In 1911, Mrs Nash leased part of the property for 37 years and 9 months
(starting 6 July 1910) to Thomas John Rodgers, who was in the process of
establishing the His Majesty’s Theatre next door. Thereafter the lease of
this alleyway (which is on Part-Lot 11, which has belonged to this property
Louisa Snelson’s time) and the granting of the right to use it, passed to the
array of people and organisations associated with the neighbouring
property, going to three members of the Fuller family in 1911; the Kairanga
Auctioneering Company in 1925; The Palmerston Paramount Pictures and
Albert Ernest Blackbourn the same year; and to William Robert Kemball in
1927.
The previous building on this site was probably another small block of
shops, and certainly one of these was occupied for many years prior to the
construction of this building (possibly since he entered this business in
1907) by the J.A. Nash & Co. estate agents’ office.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Building
H. Leslie Hickson designed the plans for the main part of this building, the
tender notice being published on 10 August 1925. This described the work
as being brick shops in George Street. The Building Permit was
subsequently issued on 7 September 1925, with the building being valued
at £4,700.
Photo St134 from the PN Library’s photographic collection shows the
upper façade of this building in its original four-shop form. The photo has
been taken after a snowstorm, from the third floor of the C.M. Ross & Co.
building across the road. At the time, the future site of the neighbouring
Andrews Building contained just a narrow single storey building, only the
roof of which can be seen.
The second stage of this building took up the space between the original
part and the Andrews Building. This narrow shop, which is about the same
width as the others in the building, was designed by O.A. Jorgensen, who
had just finished the Andrews Building next door. Possibly this space had
previously been a driveway – however, it was part of Lot 10, the main Lot
on which this building stands. The tender notice for this building was
published on 7 March 1929. It was described as a two-storied business
premises of brick and concrete. Its Building Permit was issued on 1
February 1929, and the value was £940. The successful tenderers were
Drinnan & Price.342 CT WN31/270 – and also the CT for the Andrews
Building - records the establishment of part wall rights between the two
buildings. This marks the construction to the Stage 2 building at the Cuba
Street end of the main building.
Elizabeth Lily Nash M.B.E.
In most cases in earlier times where a woman owned a property like this
one, it was because her husband owned a business and the ownership of
some properties, especially the family home, were placed in the wife’s
341
Jim Lundy, ‘Nash, James Alfred’, in The Dictionary of New Zealand Biography,
Vol. 4 (Wellington, 1998), pp. 370-371. A list of J.A. Nash’s roles on various
committees etc. – 21 of them, to that time - appears on his advert prior to the 1928
General Election (MES 12/11/1928 2[2])
342
Manawatu Evening Standard 10 August 1925 2(2) & 7 March 1929 2(1);
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, pp. 287, 382, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
name to protect them should the business fail. However, Elizabeth Lily
Keogh (as she was named on the CT) had already owned this property for
at least six months prior to her marriage - as Elizabeth Lily Grater, nee
Keogh - to James Alfred Nash at Palmerston North on 14 February 1895.
The Manawatu Times published her obituary on 16 June 1942, two days
after her death:
A life of useful activity was brought to a close on Sunday
last by the peaceful passing of Mrs Elizabeth Lily Nash, wife of Mr
J.A. Nash, of Western Avenue. Although of a retiring nature, the
deceased lady was a great worker for the good of the community,
ably filling her part in the public positions she was called upon to fill
as wife of the Member of Parliament for over a quarter of a century
and as Mayoress for 15 years. In recognition of her work at the time
of the Great War she was awarded the M.B.E.
The late Mrs Nash was the second daughter of Mr and Mrs
Keogh, of Dunedin, and was born in Birmingham, England. In her
childhood days she visited New Zealand twice and America also
before her parents decided to settle here. About two years ago she
had a very severe nervous breakdown but later recovered to some
extent. She then went with Mr Nash to Christchurch, but there she
unfortunately suffered a relapse, and subsequently returned. About
twelve months ago, the effects of the illness were then telling on
her, and she has been a patient sufferer since then.
During the 15 years in which Mrs Nash was Mayoress of
Palmerston North she took an active part in a large number of public
matters which affected women. In the Great War, she was at the
head of the parcels activities and other war work. She organised the
“Paddy’s Market” in connection with the war and at the time of the
influenza epidemic was in charge of the depot at the Opera house
for a period of five weeks. Among many other activities, Mrs Nash
organised fetes and fairs to raise funds for a number of projects,
included in these being paying off the balance of the debt on the
Technical School, building the baths at the Boy’s High School,
paying off the debt in connection with the Garrison Band, and the
erection of the women’s annex at the Hospital. She was also deeply
interested in raising funds for the nurses’ chapel at the Hospital. She
took a very keen interest in the Hospital Day collections of other
years in Palmerston North, and when Mayoress she entertained
each year the members of the council in a day’s outing to Tiritea.
When Mrs Nash was Mayoress the lakelet enclosure was instituted
in the current form and she officiated at the opening of the bridge
between the two pools. For this reason she was presented with a
paid of silver scissors. Mrs Nash also secured the land for the
Coronation Hall at Terrace End, the councillors at the time
presenting her with a key at the official opening of the building.
Two sons were born to Mrs Nash, one being Mr James
Leslie Nash, who is engaged in farming at Linton, and the other Dr.
Horace Webster Nash, of Lower Hutt. There are five grandchildren.
The funeral will be of a private nature.343
A.G.S. Bradfield’s The Precious Years, records that: Mr Nash was always
giving praise to his wife. He (Nash) wrote: “In 1918 when the influenza
epidemic came upon us we had no fewer than 131 deaths in this town.
Mrs Nash was in charge of the First Aid depot at the Opera House and she
and her committee attended to those in distress, with medicines, clothing
and stimulants. I thank God for having had such a woman for my wife and
I have sadly missed her since her departure. It was a great honour when
she received the M.B.E. (in 1919)344
Subsequent Owners
After Elizabeth’s death, the property was transmitted in 1943 to her two
sons, James Leslie Nash and Horace Webster Nash. A new CT,
WN548/84, was issued to them in 1949. In 1963, it was transferred to five
women belonging to or connected to the Nash family, as tenants in
common. Of these, one lived locally and two lived in England. The four
shares (of a total of 15 shares) belonging to Maude Nash (who was the
343
344
Manawatu Times 16 June 1942 2(4)
A.G.S. Bradfield, The Precious Years (PN, 1962), p. 59
Page 177
Palmerston North City Council
local woman) were transmitted to her executors, Rodney John Port and
Grant Garfield Roberts, both Pohangina farmers, in 1978. On the same
date the property was transferred to the present owner, Hugh Russell
Farquhar, a surveyor of Palmerston North.
Additions & Alterations
Semi-legible documents held on PNCC Building Permit file G5/40-48 are
possibly some of the original specifications for this building. The originals –
and the plans themselves - were not located.
An application for a permit to install a sterilizing sink in what was then 50
George Street was applied for in 1980 by the business concerned’s owner,
Mrs M. Thomson. Possibly this involved the Omni restaurant. An undated
permit application was also applied for by Omni for a basin and sink.
The file contains a letter dated 6 November 1997 from OSA Consulting
Engineers to the building’s owner, Mr H.R. Farquhar, providing an
assessment as to what was needed for the building in terms of earthquake
strengthening. This indicated that the linings would need to be stripped off
all the brick walls and that these then be sprayed with concrete – at a cost
of $300,000 plus GST. There is no indication as to whether this was done.
On 3 April 1998, PNCC wrote to Cathren Ishbell re upgrading the building
for earthquake risk and advised of changing legislation etc.
The Occupants
J.A. Nash had moved on to more important things in terms of his career by
the time this building was erected. However, a tenant in the 1929
extension in the latter 1950s was the firm of land agents, C.H. Plumtree &
Co., which advertised itself as the successor to Nash, Plumtree & Co. Also
in the extension for perhaps almost three decades was Mrs Jeanette
Arthur, who advertised herself as “toilet specialist”, while in 1933 she had
been advertised as having “ladies toilet rooms.” Possibly she sold ladies
toiletries, and there is no sign that she operated women’s toilets in her
shop. Two of the others shops also sold guns at various points.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Shop (1)
48 George St. (Nearest Main St.)
Stones 1933
William George Bentley, tailor
Wises 1936-44
66 (& 28) George St. – Bentley’s Ltd., tailors
Wises 1950-51
66 George St. – De Cleene’s, tailors
Wises 1953-54
66 George St. – Grundy’s Rental Cars (Grundy’s
firm also at 70 George St.)
Wises 1957-60
66 George St. – Nil
Photo ST134 1985
60 George St. – Discoveries, craft shop
Now
48 George St. - DingXin International Ltd.
Shop (2)
Stones 1933
Wises 1936
Wises 1939
Wises 1944
Wises 1950-60
equipment, guns, etc.
Photo ST134 1985
Now
46 George St.
Robert Irvine, hat renovator
28 George St. – Gordon M. Simes, chiropodist
64 George St. – Butler & Co., hotel brokers
64 George St. – William Butler & Co, bakers
64 George St. – Hanson’s Sports Depot, sports
58 George St. – Cumin Clothing, fashion shop
46 George St. - Guilty As Sin boutique clothing,
(uses
#46A
on
website)
http://guiltyassinshop.blogspot.com/
Upstairs flats
46A George St.
Stones 1933
Miss Elsie MacLennan; Miss J. McAnulty,
department manager
Wises 1936
29 George St. – Ms Ross
Wises 1939-44
62 George St. – Ms Merle I. Scoble (see also
Union Bdgs, Coleman Pl.)
Wises 1950-51
62 George St. – Ms E.B. Ross
Wises 1952-53
62 George St. – James O. Neill; Rosvall Bros.,
electrician
Wises 1957
not listed
Wises 1959-60
62 George St. – B.L. Hambling; Ms M. Scoble; -Grant
Now
unknown
Page 178
Palmerston North City Council
Shop (3)
Stones 1933
costumier
Wises 1936
Wises 1939
Wises 1944
Wises 1950-54
contractor
Wises 1957
contractors
Wises 1959-60
Photo ST134 1985
2006-Now
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
44A George St.
Miss Mary Margaret Mousley, dressmaker &
33 George St. – Mrs Millicent Smiter, draper
60 George St. – Mrs Kath Hickson, draper
60 George St. - Ms Alecia Smythe, dressmaker
60 George St. – Allan D. Macdonald, electrical
60
George
St.
–
Rosvall
Bros.,
electrical
60 George St. - Lyall Loveridge, radio technician
54 George St. – Nostalgee Children’s Wear
44A George St. - Alladin’s Cave Fashion
Accessories
http://fc.metron.ca/~alladinscave/Page5.html
Shop (4)
44 George St.
Stones 1933
A. & W. McCarthy, gunsmiths & sports depot,
A.H. McCarthy manager
Wises 1936-39
35/58 George St. - A. & W. McCarthy, sports
dealer
Wises 1944-54
58 George St. – I.R. Davy, pastrycook
Wises 1957-60
58 George St. – Auto-Needs, motor accessory
dealers
Photo ST134 1985
52 George St. – Seiko watch shop
Now
44 George St. - Bruce McKenzie Educational
Booksellers
Shop (5)
St.)
Stones 1933
Wises 1936-44
Wises 1950-4
Wises 1957-60
42 George St. (the 1929 extension - nearest Cuba
Mrs Jeanette Arthur, ladies toilet rooms
37/56 George St. – Mrs J. Arthur, toilet specialist
54 & 56 George St. – Mrs Jeanette Arthur, toilet
specialist
56 George St. – C.H. Plumtree & Co. (successor
to Nash, Plumtree & Co), land agents
Photo ST134 1985
50 George St. - Omni – The Food Place, an
avante-garde restaurant
Mid-2000s
Zen Zan shop
Now
empty
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
No original plans are available from the PNCC archives so that a
description of the planning, construction, and materials, other than the
visible façade materials of render and brickwork, cannot be given.
The style of the building is Stripped Classical with simplified Classical
details including a simple stepped parapet, cornice, sill apron, cross
detailed windows and vents and fluted pilasters between the ground and
first floors. The shopfronts are a joy of original clear coated timber
framing, leaded toplights, and tiled spandrels and pilasters. The central
front entry to the first floor is clear -coated timber glazed door with leaded
toplight.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and type and level of external
authenticity.
This building has high historic values in its connection to Elizabeth lily
Nash, who owned and had it built and who was awarded the MBE for her
public service during the First World War. The building is also associated
with two local architects, H L Hickson who collaborated with regionally
significant A R Allen in designing the C M Ross Building and Oscar
Jorgenson a well-known local architect.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The building has moderate design values as a good representative
example of the Inter- War Free Classical style.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The building’s street façade design has a high level of authenticity,
particularly the original shopfronts.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Existing category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
H
H
M
H
H
Page 180
Palmerston North City Council
George Street, 52-56
Former Astoria Ballroom entrance
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owners:
Title A
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
Title B
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
Title C
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
(Main Street end of building)
101 square metres more or less
Pt Lot 11 DP 27 – owned by the Hadleys
& Ehlers
WN38/172 (1885)
(Narrow line from road
through centre of building)
14 square metres more or less
Pt Lot 2 DP 8664 – owned by the Hadleys
& Ehlers
WN385/270 (1928), prior CT WN38/173
(1885)
(Cuba Street end of building)
129 square metres more or less
Lot 1 DP 8664 - which is owned by PNCC
WN385/206 (1928), prior CT WN38/173
(1885)
Nil
Nil
Nil
153
1910
James Copeland345 & C.W. Blackbourn,
Robin Hood (refurbishment)
T.J. Rodgers (on land leased from James
Miller
A.E. Blackbourn
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
345
See also the former Pink & Collison Building (now Coo-ee Drycleaners) at 260262 Cuba St. re James Copeland
Page 181
Palmerston North City Council
This block of shops is the former road frontage of Palmerston North’s first
purpose-built movie theatre, originally called the His Majesty’s Theatre,
and thereafter it underwent a number of changes of both name and role. In
recent times it was known as the Astoria Ballroom. In its day and in its
various guises, this block of shops fronted a very large building that was
one of the social hubs of Palmerston North. This building originally
consisted of three shops and the entrance to the theatre. Nowadays, two
of the shops have been combined into one (now Mango Music), while the
theatre/ballroom entrance with its distinctive verandah, has also been
converted into a shop (nowadays Urban Charm).
Prior History & Complicated Ownership Changes (excludes the main
theatre).
CT WN38/172, covering the Main Street end of the building (now Mango
Music, and which included T.J. Rodgers’ office until the mid-1950s) was
issued in 1885 to Eleanor Bourchier Balsdon, a local dressmaker. She
died aged 44 (date not known) and is buried at Terrace End Cemetery, but
apart from transferring the property to Annie Bourchier Milson in 1891,
nothing more is known of her. The property was next transferred in 1910 to
Clara Kate Miller, wife of James Miller, agent, who leased it to Thomas
John Rodgers for ten years from 25 July 1910. The Fullers (who ran His
Majesty’s Theatre) sub-let it in 1912 (until 1920), and T.J. Rodgers duly
bought it in 1924. He sold it to Ellen Scanlon in 1929, and his wife Julia
Rodgers then bought it back a few months later. It was transmitted to
Thomas Michael Rodgers in 1944, and then transferred to Reed McGregor
Contract Furnishing Ltd. in 1972, before passing to various members of
the Bares family and associated people from 1977. The present owners
bought it in 2004.
CT WN38/173, covering the Cuba Street end of the building, was issued in
1885 to Charles London, a Halcombe Settler. It then passed in 1889 to
James Miller, a local storekeeper, who leased it to Joe Lee and Joe Sing
in 1904, for three years. The lease lapsed, was renewed in 1905 and then
lapsed again, before in 1910, it was leased to Thomas John Rodgers for
ten years beginning 25 July 1910. Despite many sub-leases by Rodgers,
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
the land remained owned by James Miller until his death, at which time it
was transmitted in 1917 to his widow, Clara Kate (Catherine) Miller of
Wellington. In 1924 ownership of the land was finally transferred to T.J.
Rodgers.
This CT (WN38/173) was replaced in 1928 by the two present ones, with
the main area (the Cuba Street end of the building) – on CT WN385/206,
going to William Robert Kemball, a merchant of Masterton. and then the
same year going to Palmerston Pictures Ltd., which then leased it in 1930
to Palmerston Theatres Ltd. for ten years. The property was transferred in
1948 to Recreation (Manawatu) Ltd., and then in 1978 to Kerridge Odeon
Corporation Ltd., and finally to the present owner, the PN City Council.
The other part of the former CT WN38/173 (a narrow strip of land at the
centre of the building), became WN385/270, and remained in 1928 with
T.J. Rogers. Thereafter it followed the identical ownership, as has CT
WN38/172.
The Building
Designed to be multi-purpose, the building’s uses over seven decades
were very varied. It also underwent many changes of name. However, in
its various guises it played an important role in the social life of the city.
At the time of the final closure in 1984, the late City Archivist, Ian
Matheson, compiled a quick history of the building. He stated that it was
built by local real estate agent, T.J. Rodgers for about £2,600, and that is
was then leased to Messrs J. Fuller & Sons. That firm operated it as His
Majesty’s Theatre for the next four years. The new and clearly impressive
building – and the George Street portion that survives - was described in
considerable detail in the Manawatu Evening Standard of 31 December
1910:
His Majesty’s Theatre
His Majesty’s Theatre, which has just been erected by Mr
T.J. Rodgers, in George Street, is now completed. This immense
building, which is licensed to seat 1750 persons, has been
beautifully finished throughout. The main entrance is from George
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Palmerston North City Council
Street and consists of a spacious vestibule leading in to the main
auditorium, and it is there that one cannot help but being struck with
the immense size of the building. The floor has been specially laid
for skating and consists of specially run by 4in by 1½in heart of
matai, intersecting at both ends and radiating from a centre, making
the floor ideal for skating. It has a total space of 9,100 square feet,
being 130 (feet) long by 70 feet wide, which is the largest single
floor in the Dominion. The building has a 24 feet stud and the height
inside from floor to ceiling is 30 feet, and when used for pictures it
will allow the production of a picture 30 by 50 feet. The ceiling
(which is a cove design) and the walls have been lined throughout
by specially run 4 x ¾ rimu and oiled. Placed in the ceiling are four
large and ten smaller ventilators of handsome design, the whole
effect presenting a fine appearance.
In the matter of fire escapes the building is unrivalled in the
Dominion. Mr Rodgers has spared no expense in that direction,
there being nine doors, each eight feet wide, giving a total exit of 70
feet. There is a space of 20 feet on either side of the building, 12
feet at the back, and three twelve feet exits to the streets. The earth
on both sides of the building has been raised and metalled to a level
with the floor, and though the building is capable of holding nearly
2,000 people it could, if necessary, be emptied in less than one and
a half minutes. Besides the excellent provision for exits there is
installed an exceptionally powerful four-inch fire service with all the
necessary appliances, all of which have been carried out to the
entire satisfaction of the Superintendent of the Palmerston North
Fire Board. Attached to the main building are four well-finished
dressing and attendants’ rooms and the manager’s office, each
being supplied with necessary lavatories, etc. Detached from the
main building is the engine room (26 feet by 10 feet) in which is to
be installed the engine and electrical plant for showing pictures and
necessary lighting. In addition His Majesty’s is to be lighted with
gas, three special ventilating inverted gas sunlights being used.
These aggregate 6,000 candle power.
Adjoining the main entrance and fronting George Street Mr
Rodgers has had erected three business premises consisting of a
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
cosy tea and dining room 45 feet by 17 feet wide, which has been
nicely fitted for the purpose; a shop to be used for a fruit and
confectionary; and a comfortable and conveniently arranged office
where, in future, Mr Rodgers will carry on his own business. A
verandah has also been erected over the footpath along the whole
frontage, with a prominent portico over the main entrance.
The central position of His Majesty’s is bound to make it a
popular place of amusement. The contractor (Mr A.E. Blackbourn)
has completed the building in a thorough manner, the work having
involved some heavy labour, the construction being most substantial
in every detail. Oregon pine and selected rimu have been used for
the roof principals, which are heavily strapped with iron and
provided with powerful tie-rods with union screws, while the exterior
appearance of the theatre is enhanced by the addition of twelve
massive concrete and timber buttresses, The building is from the
joint design of Mr James Copeland and Mr C.W. Blackbourn. Mr
Copeland supervised the work on behalf of Mr Rodgers and Mr
C.W. Blackbourn was foreman for the contractor. The
subcontractors were: Ironwork, Messrs Scott, Niven and Co.;
plumbing, Mr J. Lissington; painting, Mr H. Holbrook; each of whose
work has given every satisfaction. The timber was supplied by
Messrs G.A. Gamman and Co., of Ohakune. His Majesty’s Theatre
has been leased for a term to Messrs John Fuller and Sons, of
Wellington, well-known theatre proprietors, and whose name has
always been associated with what is best in the theatrical world.346
The building was leased by the vaudeville promoters, John Fuller & Son,
th
and opening night was February 6 1911. The report of the first screening
stated that “Long before the doors opened a large crowd was waiting
outside the theatre in George Street, a crowd so large that even the
spacious building could not provide accommodation for it. Long before
346
Manawatu Evening Standard 31 December 1910 5(7) ‘His Majesty’s Theatre’
Page 183
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
eight the sale of tickets had to be stopped, and by this time it was
estimated that about 1,600 people were inside the building.”347
was in turn superseded, its landmark building became the Midland Hotel.
However, that too is now long gone.
The editor of the Manawatu Evening Standard wrote the next day that:
The spectacle presented at the opening of His Majesty’s Theatre
last night when the large building was filled to its utmost capacity,
and hundreds had to be turned away, is conclusive proof of the
popularity of picture shows as a means of entertainment. The offrepeated assertion that moving pictures are only in their infancy as
yet seems to contain much truth, and such a statement is borne out
by the fact that as the facilities for witnessing them multiply the
attendance of the public seems to increase in proportion. Even last
night, notwithstanding the crowd at His Majesty’s, the attendance at
the Opera House was well up on previous standards in point of
numbers. This only goes to show the hold the new form of
entertainment has on the residents of Palmerston, who are as eager
to witness the sights of the world and the clever creations of the
cinematographer’s art as any residents in the larger cities…348
Ian Matheson’s potted history recorded that His Majesty’s Theatre closed
down in 1915 when Fullers opened ‘Everybody’s Theatre’. At that time,
Palmerston North did not have electricity, and it is possible to speculate
that the noise of the necessary electricity generator set in the nearby
engine shed described above, might have impacted upon the ability of
theatre patrons to enjoy their movie-going experience. The flat level floor
might also have been a negative feature, with the view of the screen
potentially being obstructed by the heads of other patrons.
The PN Fire Brigade newspaper files contain an unsourced clipping from
26 February 1911, which must have provided its readers with some
comfort: “The fire appliances connected with His Majesty’s Theatre in
George Street, were given a trial by Superintendent Warner this morning,
and gave every satisfaction, the hose throwing a stream of water over the
building.”349
The fledgling movie industry and the theatre soon proved sufficiently
successful for Fullers to build their own specially designed movie theatre –
the ‘Everybody’s Theatre’ in Coleman Place, in 1915. When that theatre
347
Manawatu Evening Standard 7 February 1911 5(6). See also 4 February 1911
5(6) & 6 February 1911 5(7)
Manawatu Evening Standard 7 February 1911 4(6)
349
‘PN Fire Brigade Newspaper Cuttings 1909-1926’, p. 29, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
348
On 18 July 1916, the building reopened at His Majesty’s Skating Rink, with
over 100 skaters taking to the floor (until the skates ran out). It was noted
that as the floor was laid out for skating when built, it was expected to
have few equals in the country, and to be one of the largest also. Mr A.
Dowling, who had run a very successful rink in Masterton, was the
proprietor, and Rodney Talbot, a well-known local skater who had just
returned from Gallipoli, was to be the manager. A few weeks later the
enthusiastic organisers were even racing motorbikes against skaters in the
building.350 This venture lasted until about 1919.
Then for the next two years the building endured the indignity of becoming
a tyre storage facility for the New Zealand Express Co. Ltd.351 Between
about 1921 and 1924, it served as an auction room for the Kairanga
350
Manawatu Evening Standard 17 July 1916 6(2), 19 July 1916 6(7), 16
September 1916 1(2), 18 September 1916 6(1)
351
Ian Matheson’s notes in File A 175/87, Research file: Astoria Ballroom, include
an interview with Mr S.F. Barnao, dated 22 April 1981, whose father had links to
the building through their company Recreation Manawatu Ltd., which ran the
building as a ballroom He first recalled the building as an auction mart in the
1920s. He said it was used for tyre storage in the early part of the war (WWII?),
with tyres coming from all over the district. Then it became the ANA Club. He said
that the floor was especially sprung for dancing, and some feared that the weight
of the tyres would damage the floor. Ian Matheson City Archives.
Page 184
Palmerston North City Council
Auctioneering Co. Ltd., and also accommodated a 10-table billiard saloon
operated by Messrs Crossan & Elridge.
In the latter part of 1924, Palmerston North very belatedly joined the ranks
of New Zealand’s electricity-powered towns. Then on 30 October 1924,
this building, which had been leased to Palmerston Paramount Pictures
Ltd., reopened as the Paramount Theatre. At this time the theatre was also
equipped with 26 rows of seats situated on two levels of ramped floor. It
was licensed to seat 850 people.
The Manawatu Evening Standard reported that a crowded house had
attended the first showing in the “new” theatre. The furnishings and
appointments were on a lavish scale, and a feature was the upholstered
and widely-spaced tip-up chairs. The sloping floor also meant that the
screen was visible from every part of the house.352
The Paramount Theatre name was short-lived, as in 1926 it was renamed
the De Luxe Theatre and operated by Palmerston Pictures Ltd. This firm
also operated the Palace and Kosy Theatres. The last screening at the De
Luxe Theatre appears to have occurred without fanfare on Saturday, 6
December 1930. The following week the Kosy Theatre – formerly the city’s
‘silent cinema’ – had its Grand Re-opening with talkies after a major
upgrade. It had been chosen for the upgrade due in part to its central
location353 The Regent Theatre had also recently opened nearby.
Between about 1931 and about 1933, the building became the De Luxe
Skating Rink, while still owned by Palmerston Pictures Ltd. Ian Matheson
made an extensive search of the building permit registers throughout this
period seeking signs of the building’s conversion to a skating rink.
However, the above 1910 newspaper article indicates that it was designed
to suit such a purpose from the start.
352
353
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
When the skating rink closed, it became the De Luxe Dance Hall, and then
from about 1936 and until 1942, it was the Coconut Grove Ballroom,
operated by H.J. Sutton.
In 1942, it became the ANA Dance Hall, being operated by a
subcommittee of the Wellington Provincial Patriotic Council, which leased
the building. “ANA” stood for ‘Army, Navy & Air Force Club’. The official
opening of the reincarnated facility occurred on Saturday 18th July 1942.
The committee operated a Club in Broadway (which offered soldiers
accommodation in the form of bed and breakfast) during this time, as well
as the dance hall. The committee’s objects were “to promote in every way
the comfort and well being of the Men of the Fighting Forces.” The hall
was open every Saturday and Sunday for club purposes, while during the
week it was also let to others.
Women were permitted to become members of the ANA Dance Club, and
the strict list of rules included such things as the women being approved
by the committee in order to gain membership; having to “be prepared to
entertain and act as a hostess to the members of H.M. Forces”; they “must
not refuse to dance when asked to do so”; they had to be present by
9:30pm on Saturday evenings and pass-out checks would not be issued
on Saturday nights. Furthermore, “any member breaking these Rules or
behaving in an unseemly manner, or in any way acting in a manner
calculated to be detrimental to the Club, shall have her membership
cancelled.
The rules applicable to the men were not located, although the custodian
had to attend all functions and had “the right to eject any undesirable
person from any of the Committee’s premises.”
Manawatu Evening Standard 31 October 1924 (7(4)
Manawatu Evening Standard 6 December 1930 1(3), 12 December 1930 3(3)
Page 185
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The ANA’s lease on the premises duly expired on 15th February 1946, and
its property was variously returned to owners or sold off.354 A ‘glitter ball’,
made locally by Alexander Clark Ltd. in about 1932 to specifications
supplied by the U.S. film company Metro Goldwyn Mayer, was also
supposed to depart to its new owner at this time. However, the next
organisation operating the hall refused to hand it over. When the building
was eventually demolished in 1984, the glitter ball was passed to the
Manawatu Savage Club, for its venue.
New seats have been set around the walls of the dance floor, and
former patrons of the ANA will scarcely recognise the building.
There is a large alcove behind the orchestra dais, and to the right is
a secondary dressing room that will be used when the hall is
engaged for special shows, such as mannequin parades.
The building, which is owned by the Odeon Theatre organisation,
has been leased by Messrs R.J. Morris and J. Farry, of Wellington
(who have a similar project in the Capital city), and Mr C. James, a
Palmerston North businessman.
The promoters emphasise that the cabaret is not just a teenage
show, and that they intend to cater for the middle-aged dancers as
well; also that a recognised standard of dress will be maintained on
all occasions, amid comfortable appointments and at reasonable
prices.
By this means they hope to attract a wide and regular clientele, who
will find the cabaret filling a long-felt want in the city.
The building has had a chequered career over the years. At one
time pictures were shown there under the auspices of the Plaza
Theatre (sic), but the venture was not a success. The building was
then used successively as a billiards room and a skating rink. In the
1920s it was the scene of many city dances, and so, when World
War II came, it was natural that it should be taken over for the
entertainment of the Armed Forces.
More recently, the ANA was used for Sunday dances organised by
the Kiwi Sports Club for the youth of the city. They were extremely
popular, and the club performed a grand service in staging them.
The passage of time had taken toll on the building, but the
enterprise of the lessees has achieved wonders, as will be seen
when the regular cabaret evenings begin.
The building is to be available for private functions on off nights.355
Between 1946 and about 1948, the building became the George Street
Ballroom. It then became the Ballroom Astoria in about 1948, and this
remained its name until it closed in 1984. However, with many name
changes, the population apparently felt less inclined toward keeping up
with the latest names. For example, an important article outlining the
building’s rebirth in 1965, didn’t mention the word “Astoria” at all:
New future for city dance hall
The George Street building known to most people as the ANA, an
institution which performed a useful service to members of the
Armed Forces during the last war, is about to come into its own
again as an entertainment centre.
By the end of the month it will be reopened as a cabaret, a thorough
alteration and decoration programme having completely
transformed “The Old Lady of George Street.”
About a third of the former 8,000 sq. ft. of dancing space has been
petitioned off for a carpeted coffee lounge, in such a way that the
dance floor is in full view all the time. Some 60 lights of various
colours supply the illuminations on the dance floor, and the raised
dais for the six-man orchestra will shed coloured light on the
players, who will comprise a pianist, bass drummer, trumpeter,
saxophonist and Alto saxophonist.
354
PNCC Series 11/12. ‘Notes on ANA Club & Dancehall 1942-46’ by Ian
Matheson, 1984, from the records of the ANA Committee in City Archives, in File A
175/87, Research file: Astoria Ballroom, Ian Matheson City Archives.
355
Manawatu Evening Standard, 3 September 1965, in File A 175/87, Research
file: Astoria Ballroom, Ian Matheson City Archives.
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Palmerston North City Council
The reborn facility was operated by Astoria Promotions Ltd., a company
formed in 1964. Until that time, the building had been used for housie
nights four nights per week, each attracting some 300 people (or 62,400
visits per year). It had also been being used for balls, weddings, meetings
and social functions.356
In 1980, the Manawatu Evening Standard interviewed Percy Chase, a
former manager of the Regent Theatre, on his career. He commented that
after the war, the building had been returned by the Army to its owner, Sir
Robert Kerridge. He said, “Sir Robert asked what we could do with it, so I
suggested we run a ballroom. He told me to go ahead, so I enlisted Mr
Norman Jordan, who had a big dance band. Between the two of us we ran
the biggest dances in New Zealand, we’d have about 1,500 there on a
Saturday night.” However, he added that the days of the successful
Astoria Ballroom ended with the arrival of television in the early 1960s.357
On 1 April 1981, Palmerston North City Council purchased the property
from the Kerridge Odeon Corporation Ltd. for $125,000. However, Astoria
Promotions Ltd. remained the tenant until 20 May 1984. The last function
held there – on Queens Birthday Weekend, 1984 - was the national
convention of Square Dancers, organised by the Rose City Ramblers
Square Dancing Club.358 The Manawatu Evening Standard published a
photo on 18 May 1984 (p. 1) of the last housie night held in the building
the previous evening. Demolition was due to occur the following month.
The land upon which the main part of the theatre once stood now serves
as the Main Street end of the Harvey Norman building. However, the shop
356
Ian Matheson’s notes from PNCC File 78/0/5/4/9, 16 April 1980, in File A
175/87, Research file: Astoria Ballroom, Ian Matheson City Archives.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
that was once the theatre’s main entrance, with its distinctive portico
above its verandah, still serves as a reminder of this historic building, in its
many guises.
Charles William Blackbourn
This building was designed by Charles William Blackbourn, a builder and
contractor who had studied architecture and who designed most of his
largest building contracts. He was born in Okato, Taranaki, in 1876, before
serving a building apprenticeship in Palmerston North and Wanganui
under Mr Coupe. He worked as a journeyman until starting his own
business in Palmerston North in 1900. By the time Volume 6 of the
Cyclopedia on New Zealand was published in 1908, Blackbourn employed
forty staff in relation to his business and his contracts. Another of his
buildings that survives is the two-storied former ‘The Arcade’ shop in
Coleman Place that was built in 1906.359 Notes on the back of a photo of
His Majesty’s Theatre during construction, which was donated by C.W.
Blackbourn’s daughter, said that his firm collapsed during the depression,
after which he drove a taxi. Meanwhile, his brother Albert Blackbourn went
into business as a builder in his own right.360 He also maintained a link to
this building by being based in the yard beside it.
Photographic Record
Three photos showing this building were located in the PN Library
Photographic Collection. The oldest is the abovementioned photo T27,
which was taken during construction in 1910, and which shows the
workmen dwarfed by the building’s upper framework as they erected the
roof trusses. Photo St108 was taken about 1937 and shows the massive
building with external wall bracings, in the centre of the block and towering
over the surrounding buildings. Photo BC168 shows the entrance to the
Ballroom Astoria, as published in the Manawatu Evening Standard of 17
April 1980. Notes with this photo state that the ballroom and a private
357
Manawatu Evening Standard, 2 December 1980, p. 13, ‘Percy pushed
promotion’.
358
Ian Matheson’s notes from PNCC File 36/87/1, in File A 175/87, Research file:
Astoria Ballroom, Ian Matheson City Archives.
359
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, (Wellington, 1906), pp. 674-5, ‘Blackbourn,
Charles William’
Photo T27, Photographic Collection, PN City Library
360
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Palmerston North City Council
carpark had been designated to become a public carpark, and that a
director of Astoria Promotions and Hugh Farquhar, owner of the
neighbouring Nash Buildings, had opposed this.
Additions & Alterations
PNCC Building Permit file G 5/62-68 includes the plans for seating
improvements at His Majesty’s Theatre, on behalf of PN Paramount
Pictures Ltd. These are dated 30 August 1924 and were drawn up by
architect Robin Hood. This relates to the entry in the Building Permit
Register Vol. 3: PN Paramount Picture Co., (Pt. Sec. 332) involving
additions in wood to the value of £850.361
In 1970, a permit was applied for to erect a mezzanine floor for the Astoria
Construction Company, and in 1978, a permit was applied for to reinstate
the verandah of the Astoria Ballroom.
In 1980, PNCC wrote to Morrison Taylor & Co. regarding F.E. Petersen’s
amusement parlour premises at 66-68 George Street, regarding
alterations there. In 1996, the floor plan for the Windfall Gallery at 66
George Street was supplied to PNCC, and this appears to relate to the
planned “frame shop” requiring alterations on behalf of the Peter Bares
Trust.
Building Permit file G 5/64 records that in 1994, Jaqueline McKean of 64
George St., applied for a permit to build a new shop front. The plans
include the comment “reuse ‘Astoria’ door”, and show a sketch of a glass
door with the word “Astoria” etched diagonally across it. This door is no
longer there. This appears to be the point at which the double-door
entrance to the old Astoria was changed to its present shop-front form.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Alleyway
The now cut-off alleyway between the ballroom buildings and the Nash
Building used to lead to a service station, and this appears to have had a
relationship to the small shop at 52 George Street. A service station very
close to a large wooden building potentially holding many hundreds of
people, does not sound compatible in the present day. The service station
appears to date from after the 1930 closure of the building as a picture
theatre – first appearing in the 1933 Stones Directory as Joseph Edward
Day’s petrol and service station. Williams & Hunter had taken over by the
1936 Wises Directory, followed by the Avro Service Station Ltd. (1939),
Frederick Haxton (1944-51), and then Reliance Motors in the 1953-57
editions.
Between the 1939 and 1960, the Wises Directories also list several other
businesses whose situations are unknown362, and the shop in this building
closest to the alleyway, as 70 George Street. The main one of these was
Grundy’s Rental Car Ltd., that later became Grundy’s Motors Ltd. Possibly
the shop served as an office for some of the businesses, however, there
was clearly commercial activity behind the hall – and also a car park.
The front portion of the alleyway was part of the neighbouring Nash
Building’s land, and that building’s CT records that the operators of the hall
also tended to lease access to the alleyway. CT WN31/270 records
property owner Elizabeth Lily Nash leasing part of her property to Thomas
John Rodgers for a period of 37 years and 9 months, from 6 July 1910. He
then leased the right to pass over it to John Fuller, Benjamin John Fuller
and John Fuller the younger (who operated the theatre) for ten years from
23 January 1911. In 1925, Rodgers subleased this land to the Kairanga
Auctioneering Company, which in turn granted permission to pass over it
to the Palmerston Paramount Pictures Company Ltd., in 1925, the term to
expire on 6 April 1948 (i.e. when Rodgers’ lease was to expire). At the
same time in 1925, the sublease was passed to Albert Ernest Blackbourn,
361
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, PNCC 4/13/1. Also the original plans for the
1924 work are located in PNCC Series 4/13/6, Plan 207/62-68, all at Ian Matheson
City Archives, PN City Library
362
The 1944-51 Wises Directories list Blackburn & Son (sic), builders, as also
being at 70 George Street. This firm erected this building in 1910-11.
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Palmerston North City Council
the contractor who had erected this building. In 1927, the right to pass
over was transferred from Paramount to William Robert Kemball, who, the
following year bought the shop that is now 52 George Street. Thereafter
the alleyway is not mentioned. Probably Kemball had a connection to the
Grundy’s rental car business and/ or to the service station.
The 1953-54 Wises Directory listed Grundy’s has having for a short period
taken over the closest shop in the Nash Building on the other side of the
alleyway. The 1941 phonebook lists Grundy’s Rental Car Ltd., which
advertised that it replaced its entire fleet each year. It also had branches in
New Plymouth, Waitara and Gisborne. The firm advertised in the
Manawatu Evening Standard in 1942 that it was next to the “Cocoanut
Grove Ballroom”, while the associated Reliance Motors advertised used
rental cars for sale, and that the entrance to its premises was next to
“Cocoanut Grove.” It also advertised repairs, servicing and greasing.363 An
undated plan in PNCC Building Permit file G5/62-68 shows the garaging
for the rental cars and also the location of the petrol pumps only a matter
of metres from the side of the ballroom.
Thomas John Rodgers died on 3 June 1958, aged 83, after spending
almost sixty years connected in various ways to this building, including
having his land agent’s business in one of the shops there until he was
aged about 80.
Shop (1)
52 George St. (Shop nearest Cuba Street and alleyway)
Wises 1914-20 Lee Joe & Co., laundry
Wises 1922
15 George St. – H. Stockbridge, tailor
Wises 1925
15 George St. – James Duhovich, confectioner
Stones 1933
Nil
Wises 1936-39 15a/70 George St. - Mrs Annie F. Walker, restaurant
Wises 1944-51 70 George St. - Grundy’s Rental Cars
Wises 1953-60 70 George St. – Grundy’s Motors Ltd. (also in #66 next
door 1953-54 edition
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Now
52 George St. - Indigo Clothing.
Shop (2)
day)
Wises 1914-16
Wises 1920
Wises 1922
Wises 1925-33
Wises 1936-39
Wises 1944
Wises 1950-54
Wises 1957-60
Was (2009)
Now
54 George St. (the names reflect the hall’s occupant of the
Fuller’s Pictures
Skating Rink
Kairanga Auctioneering Company
Nil (& Stones)
De Luxe Hall (#18 in 1936)
Nil
72 George St. – ANA Ballroom
72 George St.- Ballroom Astoria
54 George St. - Studio 64 Astoria
54 George St. - Urban Charm Secondhand Shop
Shop (3)
56 George St.
Wises 1914-16 7 George St. - William Lahood, restaurant & confectioner
Wises 1920-22 13 George St. – T.P. Robins & Co., upholsterers
Wises 1922
Nil
Wises 1925-39 13/17/74 George St. – George Feroza Framjee, photo
dealer (& Stones)364
Wises 1944
Nil
Wises 1950-54 74 George St. – Doll’s Hospital
Wises 1957-60 Nil (possibly combined as Montana Cafeteria about 195960)
Now
56 George St. - Mango Music, 56 George St.
Shop (4)
Wises 1914-54
Wises 1957
Wises 1959-60
Now part of 56 George St. (Shop nearest Main Street)
5/11/15/76 George St. - T. J. Rodgers & Co., land agents
76 George St. – nil
76 George St. – Montana Cafeteria
364
363
Manawatu Evening Standard regular advert 15 June 1942 4(1)
By 1942, G.F. Framjee was advertising his business as being in Broadway
opposite the Regent Theatre. (Manawatu Times 12/6/1942 3(4-5)
Page 189
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The former theatre and ballroom have been replaced by the existing
shops, but the entry and verandah has been retained and are of timber
construction with a timber cornice and posts and vertical boarding to the
above verandah portion.
The building’s street façade design has a high level of authenticity,
however the remainder of the building has been significantly modified.
The description of the original theatre is as above.
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design values
and façade authenticity.
This block of shops has high historic and emotional values as the former
road frontage of Palmerston North’s first purpose-built movie theatre,
originally called the His Majesty’s Theatre. It also has high historic
values in its association with the architects James Copeland & C.W.
Blackbourn, Robin Hood (refurbishment)t, Ernest Larcomb , who designed
a number of significant buildings in Palmerston North. Larcomb’s designs
include the main public hospital, many shops around the Square, and
several large houses such as the Wattles, the Empire, Albion and
Occidental Hotels. Robin Hood, another Palmerston North architect
designed the refurbishment of the building.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflect a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
H
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
H
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Inter- War Free Classical style.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
Page 190
M
H
H
Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 1-3, Coleman Place 20-22
ANZ Bank Chambers (former Union Banks of Australia)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
431 square metres more or less
Pt Lot 1 DP 3075
WN357/24 (1926); prior CT WN229/280
(1914), WN 24/50 (1881)
Category Two365
Nil
Nil
19
1912
Penty & Lawrence
Union Bank of Australia Ltd.
Sollitt Bros.
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This building served Palmerston North as a bank for eighty years, its
predecessor having been on the site a further three decades. Its upstairs
office space also served for many years as the office of the New Zealand
Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British Seamen Fund, the
organisation that founded Flock House in the Rangitikei.
Prior History
CT WN24/50 was issued to Sylvester Coleman, a commission agent, in
1881, and it is he after whom this location was named. However, the site
has an added significance in that in 1866 it had previously been the site of
Palmerston North’s first survey office. On the same date the CT was
365
PNCC Schedule of Buildings and Objects of Cultural Heritage Value
Page 191
Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
issued to Coleman, it was also transferred on to the Union Bank of
Australia Ltd.
The main part of the bank was built around 1881, while the Coleman Place
frontage had been added in 1894, when the whole place was enlarged.366
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 1, published in 1897, recorded that
at the time, the Palmerston North branch was the only one between
Auckland and Wellington.367
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, published in 1908368, recorded
that The Union Bank of Australia, Limited, has been represented in
Palmerston North since the year 1881. The premises occupy a site at the
corner of the Square and Broad Street (sic), and contain a banking
chamber, the manager’s room, and a residence. Mr John L. Barnicoat,
who has been manager of the Palmerston North branch of the Union Bank
since 1893, is supported by a strong staff of officers.
However, the building’s days were clearly numbered as on 24 September
1908, the Manawatu Evening Standard reported that
Another of Palmerston’s historic buildings is to give place before the
advancement of the district to a more up-to-date and imposing
structure. The Union Bank of Australia was erected when
Palmerston was only a back-blocks township, 26 years ago. It has
been enlarged several times since, in 1894 its’ also being just about
doubled to cope with the increasing business of the district. Now the
directors have decided to remove the present building altogether
and erect a handsome, up-to-date, two-storey brick building on the
present site. The new building will combine the banking chamber
and manager’s residence, and will be a great deal larger than the
present structure. Mr Chatfield, the architect for the bank’s new
head offices, which are at present being erected in Wellington, is the
architect for the Palmerston building also, and was in town this week
with a sketch plan of the building. One or two alterations are to be
369
made to it, and then tenders will be called almost immediately.
However, the new building did not arrive as quickly as anticipated, and so,
in the early hours of 16 September 1910, it was the 1881 building that was
substantially destroyed by fire. The fire had begun in the kitchen at the
back of the property, while the manager, Mr Barnicoat, and his family,
were asleep in their apartment within the building. They were considered
lucky to have escaped. It was believed that had there been any wind that
night, that another of Palmerston North’s big fires would have occurred. As
it was, the neighbouring Bon Marche building was briefly set alight, but this
was extinguished quickly.
Mr Barnicoat had escaped the fire and then gone back inside looking for
his two small sons, initially believed to be trapped inside, and had almost
suffocated in the smoke and heat. However, they had already escaped
and gone to the fire station to get help. Both Mr and Mrs Barnicoat were
scorched and their hair and eyebrows singed by the fire.
When the bank safe was opened, it transpired that only smoke damage
had occurred. The bank reopened at 10:00am on the morning of the fire in
the newly vacated former fire brigade building on the opposite side of
Coleman Place (the fire brigade had just moved to new premises in Cuba
Street). The destroyed bank building had been insured for £1,475.370
The Building
Despite the optimism of 1908, it was two years after the 1910 fire before
the old bank’s replacement was complete. The Manawatu Evening
Standard finally announced the near completion of the new bank on 19
August 1912, with the heading ‘New Banking House for Union Bank of
Australia’:
366
Manawatu Evening Standard 16 September 1910 5(2)
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 1 (Wellington, 1997), p, 1170
368
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, Taranaki, Hawkes Bay, Wellington
(Christchurch, 1908). Unnumbered page, ‘Banking’ section, Palmerston North.
367
369
370
Manawatu Evening Standard 24 September 1908 4(6)
Manawatu Evening Standard 16 September 1910 5(2)
Page 192
Palmerston North City Council
The local branch of the Bank of Australia, Ltd., will, in the
course of but a few weeks, be installed in the new premises which
have been erected for it on the site of the old building, at the corner
of the Square and Coleman Place. The new building was rendered
necessary by the partial destruction of the old premises by fire, and
is a handsome addition to the architecture of the town. These
premises are practically completed, and the manager hopes to be
able to move into them from the temporary premises towards the
middle of next month. The new building is constructed of brick, and
is well-finished throughout. Not only has it been constructed on solid
lines, but with a view to the future expansion of business as the
population of the town and district increases. In order to be prepared
for this expansion, the banking chamber is unusually large for a
town of this size, and the convenience will, no doubt, be appreciated
by the clients of the bank. It is also encouraging to know that
banking authorities consider Palmerston’s future prosperity will
require such accommodation.
The banking chamber is supported by four pillars, 16ft high,
each pillar consisting of a steel cylinder, reinforced with concrete.
The ceilings throughout the building are finished with asbestos
sheets, which, in addition to their particularly neat finish, increase
the security against fire. The counters and all the woodwork in this
room are of beautiful cedar wood, imported from New South Wales.
The brick walls are finished with cement, suitably tinted.
In addition to the banking rooms, there is on the ground
floor a spacious dining room, with kitchen and other well-appointed
annexes. The residential portion is, however, chiefly upstairs.
Access is gained to the residence by a handsome entrance from
Coleman Place. The rooms are all well lighted, the windows being
arranged to catch some, at least, of each day’s sun for every room.
Particularly happy is the idea of the balcony in a quiet, secluded
portion of the building, fronting Coleman Place.
The fire grates in the banking chamber and some of the
other rooms are of the Bell pattern, a grate which claims to throw
out the maximum of heat from a minimum of fuel.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The dimensions of the strong room are 12ft square. It is, of
course, entirely new. An interesting feature associated with it is the
electric connection with the manager’s bedroom. Thus a burglar
tampering with the strong room door unconsciously arouses the
manager by ringing an electric bell in his room.
Off the banking chamber is a commodious and well-finished
office for the use of the manager of the Bank.
The temporary building at the rear of the new bank will be
removed shortly, and a garden made on the ground it occupies.
The new building cost about £6000. The builders were
Messrs Sollitt Bros., and the principal sub-contractors were Messrs
Osgood and Hancock (painters and decorators), Withers and
Thompson (plumbers) and C. Emney (plasterers), of Wellington.
The architects were Messrs Penty and Lawrence, of Wellington. The
work was supervised on behalf of the bank by Mr C. Colquhoun,
clerk of the works, who has acted in that capacity for many
important buildings in Wellington, including the Arcadia and Windsor
Hotels.
Photo BC7 in the photographic collection at the PN City Library, shows the
near complete building, with the lower scaffolding still in place and about
25 men posing at ground level and also high on the scaffolding. Signs at
ground level name some of the businesses involved in the building’s
construction. These include the names of the architects, builders, painters,
and the supplier of Golden Bay cement used to build it (Arthur Hopwood).
Photo St10, taken between 1912 and 1915, shows five upstairs windows
overlooking Coleman Place, along with the single storey section with the
balcony on top.
The original plans were not located during this study, however, in October
1925 the Union Bank applied to alter the building.371 The resulting plans
show what existed prior to that time. They show that the original banking
chamber took up about two-thirds of the bank portion of the ground floor,
371
PNCC Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, Series 4/13/1, p. 383, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
with the remainder being the manager’s office, the strong room, two toilets
and a stationery cupboard. The single storey part at the back of the
building contained the dining room, kitchen, toilet, washhouse, etc. The
entrance to the upstairs accommodation was via the door on Coleman
Place. There does not appear to have been direct internal access between
the bank and the accommodation. The upstairs area consisted of the
drawing room and six bedrooms, along with the bathroom, toilet and linen
cupboard. The drawing room and four of the bedrooms had fireplaces,
while there was one in the banking chamber and another in the manager’s
office. The balcony was accessed from a door part way up the main
staircase. The staircase was inside a block protruding from the centreback of the building.
The PNCC Building Permit Register records that the October 1925
alterations were valued at £4,962.372 The architectural firm was Swan
Lawrence & Swan, which was essentially the same firm that originally
designed the building. The plans show that the second floor was then
added to the previously single storey portion, and that another two-storey
segment was added to the back of the building. These alterations
transformed the upstairs area (including the new portion) into thirteen
offices, an “officer’s sitting room”, and a side room that was only accessed
from the officer’s sitting room (formerly the residence’s bathroom etc.).
This might have been used as a bedroom, as it has a wardrobe. This room
was sealed off from the other first floor offices and appears to have been
used by the bank staff via new stairs from the bank area. A small
bathroom and a toilet were also fitted into what was later described as a
mezzanine floor, which was above the men’s two toilets, but below the first
floor. The downstairs area, previously part of the residence, became Shop
No. 2, while the ground floor part of the new extension became Shop No.
1. Shop 2 was narrower than its neighbour, but was also longer due to the
two toilets (one fore each shop) being behind Shop 1.373
372
PNCC Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, Series 4/13/1, p. 383, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
PNCC Building Permit file T25/1-3: Swan Lawrence & Swan August 1925 plans
373
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
In March 1956, the same architectural firm, now called Lawrence & Swan
(Francis H. Swan also being named separately), designed further
additions to the building. They included installing a new symbol above the
main (corner) door into the banking chamber. By this time, a second toilet for the female staff - and their cloakroom, had replaced the little bathroom
on the mezzanine floor. On the ground floor, the stationery cupboard and
the former site of the fuel bin became the men’s cloakroom. The fireplaces
were also removed at this time. These plans detail the tellers’ desks and
various other counters and fixtures - the teller desks increasing from three
to four during these renovations. A PABX telephone system was also
installed.
Most of the first floor was also altered. The pre-1956 area shows two
dentists’ surgeries and their x-ray room. Four small strongrooms were in
one of the rooms, while there were three men’s toilets and one for women.
The alterations indicate that the bank was taking over more of the first
floor, including removing walls to make it open plan. Meanwhile, the
dentists’ rooms were being compressed. The women were getting a
former office as a restroom (alongside their toilet), while another office was
converted to a staff lunch room. A storage room was also constructed in
the roof space. Three offices (above the shops) remained untouched.374
The Union Bank of Australia Ltd.
The Union Bank of Australia’s entry in the 1937 book From Swamp to City,
recorded that the bank had been formed in 1837 and that it commenced
business in New Zealand in 1840. The article added that John L.
Barnicoat375 had managed the bank from 1893 to 1919, and that in 1937,
374
PNCC Building Permit file T25/1-3: Lawrence & Swan March 1956 plans
375
The Manawatu Evening Standard published an extensive article on Mr
Barnicoat at the time of his retirement from the local Union Bank, after a farewell to
him in the Council Chambers, presided over by the Mayor, J.A. Nash M.P. Gifts
were given to him, his wife, their two young daughters and their young son (he was
said to have two sons during the 1910 fire). Barnicoat was replaced as manager by
Mr A. McBean. (MES 27/8/1919 5(2)
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Palmerston North City Council
the bank’s Centenary Year, the Palmerston North bank manager was J.B.
Stewart. The 1933 Stones Directory had also listed James M. Saunders as
the manager, while Norman Gibb Brown was the bank clerk.
A brief history of the ANZ National Bank is published on the Wikipedia
website. This states that the Union Bank of Australia was a British bank
with its head office in London. It had “agreed with the New Zealand
Company to accompany settlers to New Zealand to provide them with
banking services. (The Union Bank of Australia) opened a branch in
Petone, across the harbor from Wellington, where it transferred the branch
shortly thereafter. Between 1840 and 1847 the Union Bank issued its own
bank notes for circulation in New Zealand. These were initially issued
under British law until 1844 when the New Zealand Governor signed an
ordinance allowing the Bank to issue bank notes but required that these be
a minimum of 1 pound and redeemable at demand for gold or silver.”376
In 1864, the Bank of Australasia, another London-based bank, was
established, and this also had a branch in Palmerston North at an early
stage. This was on the site of the present main ANZ bank in The Square.
In 1951, the Bank of Australasia and the Union Bank of Australia merged
to form the ANZ Bank. The result was that for almost four decades, that
the ANZ had branches on both sides of The Square.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Union Bank of Australia is shown here in about 1950. The first five windows
from the left belong to the original building, while the last three windows, plus the
space between the two sets of windows (which has the building’s name plate),
includes the section that was originally single storey. Photo: Whites Aviation Ltd.,
Palmerston North & District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
Ownership
CT WN24/50 records that in 1914, Lot 2 DP 3075 was transferred to C.M.
Ross Co. Ltd., this being a strip about 32½ feet wide between the bank
and C.M. Ross’ buildings, about where the path to the main doors of the
library now is. A new CT (WN229/280) was issued the same year. In 1925,
the C.M. Ross Co. Ltd., bought some more of the bank’s land, this marking
the beginnings of the neighbouring Norfolk Building, and the party wall
between the two buildings appeared on the CT at the same time.
The present CT, WN357/24 dated 10 February 1926, was then issued to
the Union Bank of Australia Ltd. This shows the (belated) transfer of the
property to Australia and New Zealand Bank Ltd. in 1956, and then the
transfer of the property from ANZ Properties (NZ) Ltd., to Coleman Court
Ltd. in 1981. It was then transferred to the present owner, Ake Ake
Investments Ltd. in 2002.
376
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ANZ_National_Bank
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Palmerston North City Council
Changes
In 1981, the ANZ vacated its original banking chamber and moved to the
location that until then had been the two shops facing Coleman Place. The
resulting alterations saw the entrance to Shop 1 sealed over with a large
window, while Shop 2 received an aluminium sliding door. The building
was also sold in the course of this process.377 The new owner converted
the former banking chamber into two shops facing The Square. The lower
façade was also adapted to accommodate this change. The permit for the
present verandah was issued on 24 February 1981. Professional offices
were also established upstairs – although clearly professional tenants had
occupied some of these offices over many years.
A Manawatu Evening Standard article announced the completion of this
work, by architect Milton G. Brogden, on 24 February 1981. This said that
the new tenants were the Carousel Coffee Shoppe and Carousel
Fashions, and that a special feature was a revolving turntable window
display area for displaying clothing. This ‘special window’ protruded from
one of the window spaces, but is now long gone – possibly in 1994
alterations.378
The Manawatu Evening Standard reported that the ANZ’s Coleman Place
branch was to close in March 1992, with one person being made
redundant. That ended a banking relationship with this site that had lasted
111 years.379
In 1994, the former clothing shop was converted to Oscar’s Wine Bar, with
the former strongroom having sections cut from it to create a storeroom for
377
PNCC Building Permit file T25/1-3 Milton G. Brogden, Sept. 1980 plans
Sources are notes on Photos BC180 (an MES photo 24/2/1981) and BC 200,
photographic collection, PN City Library. Photo ST69 (MES photo 26/2/1973 re an
upgrade to Coleman Place, shows the Scotch Wool Shop and other features of the
building when still an ANZ branch).
379
Manawatu Evening Standard 11 February 1992, p. 1
378
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
the bar. Meanwhile the former manager’s office became the male, female
and disabled toilets.380 This shop is now The Stunned Mullet.
New Zealand Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British
Seamen Fund
The upstairs office space included the Palmerston North office of the New
Zealand Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British Seamen Fund
for at least thirty years (the timeframe covered by the Wises Directories
consulted). This is the organisation that began and operated the very well
known 7,000 acre ‘Flock House’ property at Parewanui in the Rangitikei.
The fund was the result of the efforts of Rangitikei farmer and politician,
Edward Newman, and his biography in the Dictionary of New Zealand
Biography records that he: persuaded more that 2,600 woolgrowers,
owning some six million sheep, to donate £237,000 to the New Zealand
Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British Seamen Fund. Its
board of trustees, which Newman chaired from 1920 until his death in
1946, gave immediate relief grants to sailors' families, and in 1923 decided
to bring British seamen's sons to New Zealand for farm training. The
trustees purchased Flock House, Lynn McKelvie's homestead and 1,000acre property at Parewanui, near Bulls, together with nearly 7,000 acres of
neighbouring land. On 28 June 1924 the first draft of 25 teenaged boys
arrived from Britain. Girls were accepted from 1925 at another training
farm at Awapuni, Palmerston North. Between 1924 and 1937 the Flock
House project brought 635 boys and 128 girls to New Zealand, teaching
them farming and other skills, and assisting them to find jobs or to acquire
their own farms. In 1937 the Labour government took over Flock House for
its own farm cadet scheme.381
In 1935, The NZ Railways Magazine published an extensive article on this
fund and its project, entitled Call of Flock House – Good openings for
Returned Soldiers’ Sons, that includes a background. This stated that:
380
PNCC Building Permit file T25/1-3 David Locke Designs, July 1994 plans
Paul Melody, ‘Newman, Edward 1858-1946’ in The Dictionary of NZ Biography,
Vol. 4 (Wellington, 1998), pp.378-9.
381
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Palmerston North City Council
Flock House is a monument of New Zealand sheep owners' gratitude to
brave men of the British mercantile marine who lost their lives or were
grievously wounded in their steadfast performance of duty on the perilous
high seas during the Great War. Flock House, which arose from the “New
Zealand Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British Seamen
Fund,” was intended to provide facilities for new careers in the country
districts of this Dominion for sons and daughters of British seamen. During
the past ten years many of these young folk have passed satisfactorily
through Flock House, but unhappily the depression of recent years has
checked the ingress of British seamen's sons. However, it has left the way
open for the entry of New Zealand soldiers' sons.382
The activities of the New Zealand Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt
to British Seamen Fund organisation after the sale of Flock house in 1937,
have not been researched. However, the Palmerston North connection
took a sad turn on 24 April 1946 when the organisation’s founder, Edward
Newman, died in Palmerston North after being knocked down by a car.383
Main Bank area
Union Bank of Australia to 1912-1951. Then ANZ Bank 1951-1980
Corner shop (former bank area)
1981
1 The Square - Carousel Fashions
Phonebook 1995
Cnr Square & Coleman - Oscar’s Wine
Bar
Now
1 The Square - The Stunned Mullet
Shop nearest to Library building (former bank area)
1981
2 The Square - Carousel Cafe
382
The NZ Railways Magazine, Vol. 9, Issue 12 (1 March 1935), on the NZ
Electronic Text Centre website: http://www.nzetc.org/tm/scholarly/teiGov09_12Rail-t1-body-d3.html
383
Paul Melody, ‘Newman, Edward 1858-1946’ in The Dictionary of NZ Biography,
Vol. 4 (Wellington, 1998), pp.378-9.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Now
www.bellas.co.nz
2 The Square - Bella’s Café, 2 The Square
Union Bank Chambers / ANZ Bank Chambers (upstairs)
Wises 1933
Charles A. Small, dentist; NZ Sheep owners
Acknowledgement of Debt to British Seamen
Fund office; Education Dept. Child Welfare Dept.
Branch.
Wises 1936-39
Charles A. Small, dentist; NZ Sheep owners
Acknowledgement of Debt to British Seamen
Fund office; Education Dept. Child Welfare Dept.
Branch; Seafund Settlement Assn. (Panetapu)
Ltd.
Wises 1944
Man Power Committee; WWSA; NZ Sheep
owners Acknowledgement of Debt to British
Seamen Fund office; Charles A. Small, dentist
Wises 1950-51
24 Coleman Pl. - NZ Sheep owners
Acknowledgement of Debt to British Seamen
Fund office; Shalfoon Bros. Ltd., dental supplies;
Charles A. Small, dentist; L.A. Small, dentist
Wises 1953-54
24 Coleman Pl. – Ms Whitton, duplicating
services; NZ Sheep owners Acknowledgement of
Debt to British Seamen Fund office; Shalfoon
Bros. Ltd., dental supplies; Charles A. Small,
dentist; L.A. Small, dentist; Arthur, R. Perry,
accountant (Now called ANZ Bank Chambers)
Wises 1957
24 Coleman Pl. – E.H. Ferry, public accountant;
PN Milk Venders’ Assn.; NZ Sheep owners
Acknowledgement of Debt to British Seamen
Fund office; R.M. Moss, dentist; Charles A. Small,
dentist
Wises 1959-60
24 Coleman Pl. – R.M. Moss, dentist; E.H. Ferry,
public accountant; PN Milk Venders’ Assn.; NZ
Sheep owners Acknowledgement of Debt to
British Seamen Fund office
Now
1 The Square - Ben Vanderkolk & Associates
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Shop No- 2 (nearest The Square - from 1925)
Wises 1925 (?)
Mrs M. Bevan, outfitter
Stones, 1933
Miss Jean Sandman, milliner; Mrs Blanche
Sandman, children’s outfitter
Wises 1936-39
Miss Jean Sandman, milliner
Wises 1944-60
22 Coleman Pl. - Scotch Wool & Hosiery Shop (to
‘Union Building’ 1981)
1980-1992 (combined) ANZ Bank (still gave address as corner of The
Square & Coleman Place)
Now
20 Coleman Pl. - Soul Hairdressing
Union Bank building in the Square is now completed. The building
is finished externally with red bricks, of local manufacture, and
cement dressings. The roof is covered with grey asbestos slates.
The interior of the banking chamber is finished in white plaster,
with handsome cedar dadoes and fittings. The manager’s room is
also similarly finished. The banking chamber is 3ft. 6in. (sic) x 37ft.
x 16ft. 6in. high, the ceiling of this apartment is formed with
asbestos sheets divided into panels, with bold ribs and bosses. At
the rear of the banking chamber is a large bicycle room, off which
are the stationery cupboard and lavatory accommodation for the
staff. In addition to the banking premises proper is a very complete
manager’s residence, consisting of a dining room (18ft. x 17ft.),
drawing room (24ft. x 17ft. 6in.), and six bedrooms, in addition to
large kitchen, scullery, washhouse, and the usual conveniences.
The entrance to the Bank is on the corner of the Square and
Coleman Place; a private entrance for the staff is provided from
the former street, and the entrance to the residence is from the
latter. The walls from the dining room, hall, staircase, and passage
on the first floor are finished in panelled rimu oiled, and what is
somewhat unusual in this part of the Dominion, every habitable
room is provided with a fireplace fitted with (a) “Bell” grate. The
contractors for the building were Messrs. Sollitt Bros., Ltd., of
Palmerston North. The architects were Messrs. Penty and
Lawrence, Wellington, and the Clerk of Works was Mr. Campbell
Colquohoun.385
Shop No. 1 (nearest George Street - from 1925)
Wises 1925 (?)
Henry H. Blandford, furrier (in ‘Union Building’
across road same year)
Stones, 1933
Mrs Catherine Anne Carey and Miss Florence
Carey, gown specialists
Wises 1936
Miss Margaret Young, dressmaker
Wises 1939
Empty?
Wises 1944
20 Coleman Pl. – Mrs J. Cook, dressmaker
Wises 1950-60
20 Coleman Pl. – Wilma Swanson Gowns
1980/81
Converted to part of Shop No. 2
Comments: There is capacity for further research on this building
including through contact with the ANZ Archives in Melbourne, which holds
the archival material of the Union and ANZ Banks. Also, the history of
‘New Zealand Sheep owners' Acknowledgment of Debt to British Seamen
Fund’, the Flock House property, and the activities of the Manpower
Committee during World War Two, are relevant to this building.
The building is designed in the Italianate Palazzo style with the
characteristic Classical detailing, symmetry, and proportions.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
A further contemporary newspaper description of the building in addition to
that given above is the following.384
384
New Zealand Building Progress, December 1912, p. 222
385
This copy located in Research file A175/175, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN
City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and type and level of external
authenticity.
This building has high historic values in its association with the Union
Bank of Australia (later the ANZ Bank), which has had continual
occupation of this pivotal corner of The Square for over 110 years,
contributing to a high level of continuity.
The building is historically associated with the regionally significant
architectural firm Penty and Lawrence.
The building has high design values as an excellent representative
commercial interpretation of the Italianate style, with Art Nouveau interior
details. As a successful design of the past, and located on a corner to the
Square, the building has great urban design values as a landmark and
gateway building to Coleman Place.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Existing category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
H
H
The building has moderate external authenticity.
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H
M
H
Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 4-11
PNCC Library, (former Rosco/DIC building)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
3779 square metres more or less
Lot 2 DP 81805
WN48B/604
(1997);
prior
CT
WN45D/111, (1996), WN43B/123 (1993),
prior: various
Category One386
1256
Category II
35
1927-1928
Stage 1 unknown, stage 2 A.R. Allen &
H.L. Hickson
C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd.
Stage 1 unknown, stage 2 McMillan Bros
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
Lesley Courtney’s book, The House that Quality and Value Built: The C.M.
Ross Co. Ltd. Story (PN, 2008), provides an overview of the lifetime of this
building and those it replaced. From small beginnings in 1883, the firm
grew to take over much of its end of its block, before spending time as
Milne & Choyce (1959), D.I.C. (1966) and Arthur Barnett (1987, renamed
Arthur Barnett in 1989), after which was purchased by the Palmerston
North City Council in 1992 for redevelopment as the city’s new Central
Library. The new library opened after significant upgrading on 25 May
1996.
386
PNCC Schedule of Buildings and Objects of Cultural Heritage Value
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
been a strip of land it had just bought from the Union Bank of
Australia. This development is also covered in the separate
studies on the Union Bank and the three-storey building. Then
in 1925, the firm built what became Norfolk House between
the Union Bank and the three-storey building, and that
building is also covered separately.
Prior History
Scottish-born Charles Macintosh Ross (aged 31) arrived in Palmerston
North with his wife and first child in 1883. He had earlier undertaken a
drapery apprenticeship, before working in the industry for four years in
London. He then migrated to New Zealand in 1878, duly settling in
Wellington. He married Mary Isabella Dowdswell there in 1882, and they
were to have six children.
2.
Original C.M. Ross & Co. shop: CT WN34/110 (issued in
1883 and replaced 1993) records C.M. Ross leasing this part
of Section 255 in the Square from Annie Venn, wife of
Frederick William Venn, a local cabinet maker, for a period of
five years starting 3 February 1884. In 1889 he purchased the
property from her.
3.
First Expansion: WN54/111 (also issued in 1883 and
replaced 1993) records that a few days before Ross
‘bought’387 his original shop site, he had also purchased from
the Official Assignee, this neighbouring part of Section 255
from the bankrupt estate of Caleb Whitehead, a local baker.
The two 1883 CTs derived from WN28/256, which had been
issued to James Linton, in 1882. A new wooden two-storied
‘Bon Marche’ was built on these two properties in around
1890, and that building lasted until c1927 – despite the Union
Bank of Australia’s fire in 1910 (see that study).388
4.
‘Cummings Property’: Another CT, WN377/259, covering the
balance of Section 255, and also a party wall on both sides of
the neighbouring Section 254 (the bulk of Sec. 254 is not part
of this CT)389, was issued to C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd. in 1927.
In June 1883, he purchased the ‘Bon Marche’, John Fowler’s drapery and
clothing business in The Square. The leased premises concerned
belonged to Mrs Annie Venn, and C.M. Ross then purchased this property
in 1889.
The historic Certificates of Titles relating to this block indicate that much of
the block bounded by The Square, Main Street, George Street and
Coleman Place has in the past belonged to either the Coombs Estate
(Main Street end – probably around half the block) or to C.M. Ross & Co.
Ltd. One exception was the Union Bank, but C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd. bought
up every spare part of that property it could also. The new library took over
a significant chunk of the former Coombs Estate land – that fronting
George Street - and all the library land was amalgamated onto a single
block in 1996 (WN45D/111). The 1915-16 former tearooms building on the
corner of Coleman Place and George Street, was then subdivided off in
1997, and that left the current CT (WN48B/603). This amalgamation left
many historically interesting, but redundant, CTs, and unscrambling them
is complex.
Those fronting The Square are covered here – and in the interests of
improving ease of understanding, they are covered starting from the
Coleman Place side of the façade (or alternatively, at the present
alleyway).
1.
Alleyway land: In 1914, C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd. began the
process of building the three-storey building on the corner of
Coleman Place and George Street, and also the new building
on this site in The Square. This property (CT WN229/246) had
387
Note that these dates are those shown on the certificates of title and there is
therefore a time lag between the purchases and when someone actually wrote the
change onto the title.
388
Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built, pp. 3-4
389
The same Party wall appears on the Commercial Building’s CT WN328/291 for
part Section 254.
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Palmerston North City Council
This CT was also applicable until 1993, and its prior CT was
WN28/258. The CT for the balance of Section 254 was not
sighted for this study. The “Cummings property” was leased
by C.M. Ross from 1905, and was purchased prior to the
construction of the present building in 1927-28.390
The little acorn from which the library complex grew – the first C.M. Ross & Co
shop in The Square, from the company’s advert in the 1937 book From Swamp to
City.391 This little shop, with its distinctive upper façade and (obscure) flagpole that
is seemingly repeated twice in the present building, also appears in the 1877
panorama photo of The Square, shown in T.L. Buick’s Old Manawatu (PN, 1903,
opp. p. 225)
The development from 1925 onward is attributed to a suggestion from the
ailing C.M. Ross in a memo to the Director’s meeting of August 1924, that
the firm should purchase adjoining properties and undertake a further
rebuilding programme. Part of the project resulted in the purchase of the
leased ‘Cummings building’ in The Square, and also the appointment of
390
Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built, pp. 4, 7
Robert H. Billens & H. Leslie Verry, From Swamp to City, 1887-1937 (PN,
1937). The pages are unnumbered.
391
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
architects A.R. Allen and H.L. Hickson in anticipation of the projects
ahead.392 However, C.M. Ross himself did not get to see even the first of
his suggestions completed. He died on 8 September 1924, aged 72.
The Building
Architects A.R. Allen and H.L. Hickson published the tender notice for this
building in the Manawatu Evening Standard of 8 January 1927. The job
was described as business premises in structural steel and reinforced
concrete for C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd.393 Building Permit Register, Vol. 3,
records that the permit to erect the building was issued in the first half of
1927 (that year the entries were undated until July), with the value of the
new building being £27,700, and the builder McMillan Bros.394
However, the contract (valued at £27,746) was let to McMillan Bros. of
Wellington in February 1927, and as the construction work went on, the
store continued trading throughout by moving departments around the
building. The various departments had finally moved to their permanent
locations in August 1928, and on 13 September 1928, finally opened their
new ‘Rosco Luncheon and Tea Rooms’ on the second floor overlooking
The Square.395
The Allen-Hickson plans show the total replacement of the previously
rented ‘Cummings building’ and the c1890 two-storied wooden Bon
Marche building. The familiar arched windows of the latter are seen in one
photo in the book on the firm (p. 13), disappearing beneath the scaffolding
392
Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built, p. 12
Pam Phillips Papers, PN Architects 1900-1950, ‘Plans held by PN Architects’,
Vol 3, p. 21, and ‘Tenders published in the Manawatu Evening Standard’, Vol. 5, p.
58. Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library
394
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, p. 389, PNCC Archives 4/13/1, Ian Matheson
City Archives, PN City Library. This entry has no date given, but pre-dated July
1927.
395
Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built: The C.M. Ross Co.
Ltd. Story (PN, 2008) pp. 12-14.
393
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
of the partly built new building – which is already at full height on the site
previously occupied by the ‘Cummings building’.
Meanwhile, the 1915-16 building on the land formerly owned by the Union
Bank of Australia, is also behind the scaffolding and in the process of
being transformed into what it was until the site became an alleyway in the
1990s. Notes on the plans state that its three first floor windows (a large
one with smaller ones on either side) were to be taken to the other end of
the property to become the main first floor windows in the new George
Street façade. The George Street end of the building (built c1905) was
also receiving a second storey as part of this job. Two more of the smaller
windows were then to be obtained for installation to the outside of each of
the smaller 1915-16 windows. This created the present (pre-library)
George Street façade, although the main window at least has since been
replaced.
The narrow 1915-16 building was largely gutted in the course of the work,
with its inner wall also going, although whatever could be recycled was to
be reused. This included removing the walls of the offices, strongroom and
engine room that had been about half way along the block between the
two streets. Like so many other businesses and even some private homes,
the building had had its own gas-powered electricity generating plant
(beneath the ladies lounge!), and with the very belated (compared to the
rest of NZ) coming of electricity to Palmerston North in 1924, this
generator set was one of the many such sets in the district that were now
redundant.396
‘Rosco’, as it was popularly known, in 1937 (alongside the Union Bank of Australia)
from the company’s advert in the 1937 book From Swamp to City.
Highlights
Lesley Courtney’s book on the C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd. business, provides an
invaluable social history of the firm and its premises, changing technology
and methods, changing owners and changing property uses. Therefore it
is not proposed here to replicate much of that.
Possibly the highest of the highlights in the history of this building, was the
Civic Banquet held in the firm’s tearooms during the 1953 Royal Visit to
the city. Two chairs and a table were especially made for the Queen and
Prince Philip. Some two hundred invited guests were also present. The
Queen later went out to the balcony to wave to the excited crowd gathered
below.397
After starting as C.M. Ross & Co. in 1883, the firm was incorporated as
C.M. Ross & Co. Ltd., on 4 September 1914. Although there were plans in
396
Allen-Hickson plans 9 to 11, PNCC 4/13/6, Ian Matheson city Archives, PN City
Library; Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built, pp. 8, 13-14.
Also Bruce Burr of the PN Electric Power Station Inc. and PNEPS Inc. records.
397
Lesley Courtney, The House that Quality and Value Built, pp. 30-31
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
1937 to turn the firm into a public company, this did not happen. The firm
celebrated its 75th Anniversary in 1958, and then on 22 July 1959, all
shares were transferred to the firm Milne & Choyce. The various
certificates of title recorded this event as a “change of name of the
registered proprietor to “Milne and Choyce (Palmerston North) Ltd.”
After the arrival of Milne & Choyce, the popular Luncheon and Tea Rooms
closed down and were replaced with a coffee bar accessed from the
George Street end of the building. The second floor then became the
furnishing department. The landmark ‘Rosco’ sign also vanished and was
replaced with a ‘Milne & Choyce’ sign. The name also changed on the
front of the building.
In 1964, the CTs record that the various properties were transferred to the
Australian Mutual Provident Society (AMP), and then these were leased to
Milne & Choyce, starting 1 August 1964. However, Milne & Choyce then
changed its focus and the firm was sold to the D.I.C. group. The firm took
over on 3 October 1966, and so again the roof sign and the façade were
changed.
The AMP owned the building until 1987, when the CTs record its transfer
to The D.I. C. Properties Ltd. Then in 1990, the name of the registered
proprietor was changed on the CTs to The A H Properties Ltd.
The firm Arthur Barnett had purchased the D.I.C. group in 1987, but did
not start trading under its own name until July 1989. The D.I.C. sign then
vanished from the roof and was not replaced. However, the huge
department store was becoming a dinosaur in the wrong part of town. The
CTs duly recorded the surrender of the Arthur Barnett lease on 15 October
1992.398 The CTs record the property’s transfer to the Palmerston North
City Council on the same date.399
398
The various CTs also state that the name of the lessee was changed to Huttons
Kiwi Ltd. in 1992, but this aspect has not been researched further. Lesley
Courtney’s book (p. 34) also states that the building was owned at one stage by
Apparel Holdings (AH Properties Ltd. ?) and Brierley Cromwell, and as these firms
An overhead view from around 1950. Photo: Whites Aviation Ltd.,
Palmerston North & District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
The Legacy
C.M. Ross, both the company and the man, have left some significant
legacies to the city. The old Ross house, ‘Rangimarie’, is one of the
surviving Featherston Street ‘big houses’, albeit now sandwiched between
Rangiora and Moheke Avenues. This area was once know as the Ross
Block, after the family property that became the site of the city’s second
are not clearly shown on the CTs, they are assumed to be owners of the
companies that are listed on the CTs, and the relationships have not been further
researched.
399
The above cites as examples CTs WN229/246, 377/259, 34/110, 34/111. These
were all replaced on 18 August 1993 with WN43B/123, as the titles were
amalgamated.
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North West Square Heritage Area 2010
State Housing subdivision. The wave of nappies that rolled northward
toward Tremaine Avenue then became the Roslyn State Housing suburb,
as a result of the Ross Block identity. Roslyn Kindergarten and Roslyn and
Ross Intermediate Schools quickly followed on, and then Rossmont
Shopping Centre was so christened because another post office in the
South Island already had the preferred name. Meanwhile, the city’s main
library remains as the most visible built monument to the man and his
dream. However, the building still has “The D.I.C. Ltd.” on its upper façade
as a legacy to the Rosco firm’s successors.
Occupants
In addition to the library, the Public Trust office also occupies a shop in the
building, which has the address No. 7, The Square. The George Street
end of the building is listed separately in this study.
Comments:
Additional information may be found in the records of C.M.
Ross & Co. Ltd., held by the Te Manawa Museums Trust.
A bird’s eye view of most of the library complex, from the PNCC website.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The style of the building is Chicagoesque. This was a style that came
from the steel framed buildings of Chicago of the early 20th century which
were faced with a façade using the architectural language of Classical
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
architecture. Consistent with the style, the Library exterior design is
characterised by the exuberant use of Classical elements such as large
cornices, and giant orders, but with a horizontal and vertical emphasis and
large areas of glass, allowed for by the use of a steel frame.
The building is one of a number of buildings in the Cuba Street, George
Street, Coleman Place and The Square area which, when considered
collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of a similar age, general
style, form, use, and scale.
The interior of the building was largely removed in the 1997
redevelopment of the library, leaving only the exterior walls.
The building’s above verandah street façade design is largely authentic.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This entire library building has high regional significance for historical
and design values, representivity of building style and level of external
authenticity.
This entire library building has high historic and emotional values in its
historic association with the CM Ross and Co. department store and its
successor, Milne and Choyce. The store was regarded as an institution in
the city. The 1927 building was the firm's crowning achievement and at
the time the grandest department store yet erected in Palmerston North.
The building has successfully been redeveloped as the city library, which
retains the focus it once had as the premier department store.
The building also has high historic values in its association with the
architect of the 1928 alterations, A R Allen, a Palmerston North architect of
the mid twentieth century who designed buildings in Napier, Gisborne, and
Palmerston North. H L Hickson, with whom Allen designed the building,
practised for a period up until 1935 with Rotorua architect H E Goodwin. It
is also associated with the architectural firm, Athfield Architects Ltd., who
designed the redevelopment and whose design was awarded a NZIA
National award.
Significance
Existing category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high regional
1
Contextual
Measure
H
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
H
The whole of the library building has high design values as a rare and
successful example of Chicagoesque while the building’s scale, style, and
location give the building landmark significance in the urban design of
central Palmerston North.
Page 206
H
H
H
H
Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 10-15
Commercial building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
996 square metres more or less
Pt Lot 3 DP 16927
WN32A/749 (1988); prior CT WN605/95
(c1953)400
Nil
Nil
Nil
147
1926
C. Tilleard Natusch & Sons
Coombs Estate
Unknown
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This substantial building appears to have been constructed in stages over
a two-year period between late 1925 and mid-1927 when a permit was
finally requested to build the shop fronts. It was also built around an
existing shop that was - or is – near the Main Street end of the building.
400
Note that three c1920’s CTs that cover this property all state that the
subsequent CT dated 11 December 1953 was WN605/92, rather than “/95”. These
three prior CTs are WN328/291 (1925, its own prior CTs including WN15/102),
WN342/286 (1927) and WN344/9 (1927). However, WN344/9 appears to apply to
the (two?) shops in the Commercial Hotel building and property behind part of the
Commercial Building. Among the leases referred to in that building are (from 1946)
are Boniface Bros. Ltd’s ‘Pink Cake Shop’ in Shop 5 (Boniface Bros., which is
covered elsewhere in this study, opened this once well-known shop in 1935) and
Leary’s Pharmacist Ltd., which was next to the Commercial Building.
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Palmerston North City Council
Prior History
This building gets its name from the Commercial Hotel that once stood
alongside it. Notes on the back of a photo of this building state that the
original hotel there was known as Walkley’s Hotel in the 1880s, Ryan’s
Hotel in the 1890s, and then as Child’s Commercial Hotel, until the new
one, known simply as the Commercial Hotel, was built in 1935. That hotel
was, in turn, demolished some years go.401
Photo Sq193d from the Photographic Collection at the PN City Library,
shows about four single storey shops on this site in 1913-14 – three
appearing very similar - with Fuller’s huge His Majesty’s Theatre
seemingly looming over them from the far side of George Street. Names
on the shops include (from left) obscure #1; obscure #2 (due to a tree in
The Square); A. De Luen & Co., tailors; N.D. Stubbs, Hepworth; and
‘Capstan’, suggesting a tobacconist. The 1914 Wises Directory lists these
as (from left) Henry Billens, photographer; Richardson & Co., bootmakers;
Ravenhill & Co., land & insurance agents; de Luen & Co. (Arthur), tailors;
Norman David Stubbs, watchmaker; Herbert Hepworth, chemists; and
Frank Mowlem, tobacconist.
CT WN 15/102 (first issued 1878 and owned by William Coombs since
1900) records John Hepworth leasing a shop site on the property in 1900.
This lease was transferred to Herbert Hepworth in 1907. Herbert
Hepworth, a pharmacist, built a new shop in 1917 (now a listed building
known as ‘Steeles’ after a later occupant) near the BNZ bank. The
partnership of Edgar Barnaby Pearce and George Wright Ravenhill also
leased their property in 1900, as did jewellers Patrick O’Connor and Frank
George Tydeman, who in turn had links to N.D. Stubbs.
The 1925 Wises Directory lists the businesses on this site just prior to the
construction of this building. At the time, the local landmark of this block
(other than the Union Bank of Australia on the corner of Coleman Place)
was the old Commercial Hotel, then run by Mrs Annie Clark. Shops that
probably were on the site of the future Commercial Building, however,
401
Photo Sq217, Photographic Collection PN City Library
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
were those of Miss Mary Billens, photographer; Albert Edward Hansel,
pork butcher; Bodelia & Co., fruiterers; and Crawford & Neal, tailors. Of
these, Hansel’s shop (and perhaps a ‘small goods factory’?) is likely to be
that referred to in the Natusch plans mentioned below, while Crawford &
Neal were to go on to occupy a shop in the new building until the 1940s.
The Pam Phillips Papers, which list the activities of architects in
Palmerston North between 1900 and 1950, record that a tender notice for
a brick factory (site not recorded) designed by R. Thorrold-Jaggard for
“A.F. Hansel”, was published in the Manawatu Evening Standard on 8 July
1926. It is not known if there is any connection between Hansel’s 1926
factory and the ‘small goods factory’ that was once behind the Commercial
Building.402 CT WN342/286 (1927) states that his sublease on this property
was due to run out on 31 December 1928. The sublease of a second
tenant, Hilton Thomas Strawbridge, was also due to run out then. These
two had sublet their premises from William Henry Payne, who had in turn
leased part of the property from Alice Coombs for a 21-year period starting
1 January 1908.403 It seems likely that these two subleases influenced the
decision to build their premises into the new building.
The Building
The original plans for this building, drawn up by C. Tilleard Natusch &
Sons variously in July or August 1925, are held in the Ian Matheson City
Archives. These state that the three-storey building was in part built
around “existing shops” near the Main Street end of the building, and
whose walls and ceilings were to remain intact. A ‘small goods’ factory at
the back of the building (directly behind the ‘existing shops’) was also to
remain intact.
The new work included 13ft 5ins added to the Main Street side of the
‘existing buildings’ (which in turn was 25ft 11ins wide), and 50ft 11ins
402
Pam Phillips Papers, ‘Palmerston North Architects 1900-1950: Tenders in order
of Architect’s names’, Vol. 4, p. 47, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library
Albert Edward Hansel, described as a company director, died 30 May 1972,
aged 79. William Henry Payne might be the same as William Payne, a gardener
who died on 9 September 1932, aged 85. (Ref: PNCC cemetery records)
403
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Palmerston North City Council
added to the Coleman Place side of it – a total of 91ft of road frontage
(including walls). The main entrance hall was at the centre of four shops,
and this led to the space for the lift, the meter room and the stairs, behind
which was a strongroom. A bicycle shed and three toilet blocks protruded
from the new parts of back of the building, and were of brick – the ‘existing’
building’s layout not being defined. Part of the new area protruded out the
back to match the length of the existing small goods factory, and the plan
of the first floor shows that this contained three of the floor’s nine offices
built to that time. Again the ‘existing’ area (and its 13ft 5ins extension) was
not developed fully at that time, with the area having a note “No ceiling
finish to this portion of the building.” Thus only a little over half of the first
floor was to be completed as offices from the start. The partitions between
the offices were to be of brick, and, as well as doors onto the main
passage, most also had doors that opened onto one of the adjoining
offices. The second floor had a further ten rooms (excluding toilets etc),
and these were all evidently developed from the start. A few of these
rooms also had interconnecting doors.
The PNCC Building Permit Register records that the Coombs Estate
applied for a permit for this building in November 1925. It was to be built of
concrete at a cost of £16,083.404 Natusch & Sons advertised on 10 August
1925 seeking tenders to building an unidentified block of shops and offices
in Palmerston North, in reinforced concrete and brick. Tender notices were
to be sent to the architects care of the offices of Clifton Mowlem, a land
agent who was executor of the Mowlem Estate, however, the date doesn’t
coincide with the Mowlem shops and offices covered in this study405
Although this tender notice post-dates the Commercial Building’s plans, it
was still three months prior to the council issuing the building permit. Pam
Phillips’ records of the tender notices published in the Manawatu Evening
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Standard, lists no other Natusch tender notices between this one and the
March 1926 one that does apply to this building.406
On 20 March 1926, Natusch & Sons advertised in the Manawatu Evening
Standard seeking tenders from electrical engineers to undertake electrical
installation work, and also to install an electric elevator and a goods lift.
They added that these were required for the “building in the course of
erection for the Coombs Estate” in the Square.407
The 1925 plans also noted that no shop fronts had been included in the
original contract. Accordingly, the Building Permit Register records that the
Coombes Estate applied for a permit to build the shop fronts in July 1927,
to a value of £900.408
In May 1948, R. & W. Thorrold-Jaggard drew up plans for a bulk food store
on the property for Wilson’s Small Goods Specialists.409 This will have
been for A.S. Wilson, who had a delicatessen in the building, his shop then
being numbered 98 The Square.
Photo Sq 267, from the PN Library photographic collection, shows this
building around 1930-32, dwarfed by the new Rosco building (the present
library), but towering over the old Commercial Hotel, which was duly
replaced in 1935. Photo Sq284 (1937) shows the newly built hotel. The
title “Commercial Buildings” is not visible on the façade of this building in
the photo – just as it is not shown on the original plans. The title is,
however, present on photo Sq217, taken around 1971. This photo
identifies the shops as from left: Gerald Taylor Ltd., Williams Saddlery,
John’s Meat Market, Gerrands Jewellers, British Office Supplies. The
406
404
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, p. 384, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library.
Manawatu Evening Standard, 10 August 1925 2(2)
405
Pam Phillips Papers, ‘Palmerston North Architects 1900-1950’, Ian Matheson
City Archives, PN City Library
407
Manawatu Evening Standard 20 March 1926 2(1)
408
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, p. 389, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
409
Pam Phillips Papers, ‘PN Architects 1900-1950: Plans held at Palmerston North
Archives’, Vol.3, p. 21, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.
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Palmerston North City Council
building was, however, referred to as the “Commercial Building” in the
1933 Stones Directory.
The PNCC Building Permit file on this building (T25/14-19) includes
information on the alteration to its shop fronts. The first of these was for
W.A. Knight & Son, in plans dated January 1960. This shop had access to
the strongroom behind the staircase and so the firm must have replaced
Turnbull & Jones. W.A. Knight & Son Ltd. had previously occupied one of
the shops in the Norfolk House building in Coleman Place between about
1953 and 1960. Another shop front was replaced in early 1980, this time
for Leader & Watt’s Retail Showroom alongside the (then) D.I.C. A third
was replaced in mid-1981.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
A Geo-Guide view of the Commercial Building from the PNCC website. In the
original plans, the ‘new’ office wing and the ‘small goods factory’ wing (which was
about where the number ‘14’ is) extended back to approximately the same
distance from the road. The photos below give a different perspective. The pre1926 small-goods factory site is now a carpark, although the ground level building
with the windows, shows signs of previously being attached to some other building
The Building Permit file also records that the Medici Italian Restaurant
occupied most of the second floor by 1980, and the phonebooks indicate
that it was there until about 1986. The building was re-roofed in 1996.
The Coombs Estate
The Coombs family owned a significant chunk of the land at the Main
Street end of the block where this building stands. Some of this land is
now occupied by the library buildings.
The book Colonial Homes of Palmerston North states that William Coombs
had farmed a large property at Linton before taking up a considerable
block of land at Tukituki, near Havelock North. There he built a 20-room
homestead, only to die soon after. Mrs Coombs then returned to
Palmerston North and bought land in Featherston Street, Terrace End,
where she had a replica of the Tukutuki house built, and she remained
there for the rest of her life.410
410
Eileen Revere Wright & Edith Doretta Woodhouse, Colonial Homes of
Palmerston North (Wellington, 1973), p. 30
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Palmerston North City Council
William Coombs died on 14 September 1907 aged 65, and the PNCC
cemetery records describe him as a grazier of Tuki Tuki, Hawkes Bay.
Born in Gloucester, England, in 1842, he had migrated to New Zealand,
via time in Australia, and then settled in Wanganui, where he was
proprietor of a hotel. He later owned land in Fitzherbert (Linton) and
Aorangi, which he eventually sold, and then “invested largely in property in
the Square, which he retained up to the time of his death.” About eighteen
months before his death, he bought property in Hawkes Bay and moved
there. However, that was resold about two months before his death –
which, due to long-standing health problems, was not unexpected.411 He
had been married twice, and at the time of his death, in Hastings, his
412
eldest child was about eighteen years old.
Although the historical CTs for this property were not sighted during this
study, others from the set involving the library property show that a
number of CTs for land in the vicinity were issued to William Coombs in
1881413, and that he was described as a settler of Palmerston North. The
CTs further record that in 1907, his property was transmitted to his widow,
Alice Coombs of Tukituki.
In 1921, Alice Coombs transferred the property to her four children. These
are Alice Elizabeth Collins (married woman of Hawera), William Alfred
Coombs (clerk of PN), Nina Edith Coombs, and Ella Mavis Coombs (both
spinsters of PN) as tenants in common. In 1926, notices of marriage were
added to the CTs for Nina Edith Coombs, who had married John Elliot
411
An online research stream in the genealogical website Rootsweb states that
William Coombs owned Tukituki Station, and that a report of his sale of the
property appears in the Hawera and Normanby Star of 1 August 1907, p. 5. The
same online stream states that the original homestead on the property burnt down
in the early 1990s. This matter has not otherwise been researched.
412
Manawatu Evening Standard 16 September 1907 5(1)
413
Note that the number of these involving this block that were first issued in 1881
might suggest something other than that the purchase occurred in 1881. For
example, the Union Bank of Australia’s CT for example, was issued to Sylvester
Coleman, after whom the street is named, the same day in 1881 that it was issued
to the bank.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Lindsay Gardner, a local land agent; while Ella Mavis Coombs had married
William Blair Tennant, a dentist. Members of the Coombs family appear to
414
have remained owners of the property until at least the early 1950s.
Ella Mavis Coombs, the youngest daughter of the family, had married
415
William Blair Tennant on 11 August 1925 , and his dental surgery was to
be based in this building until the 1950s. He also served as Member of
Parliament for Palmerston North (1949-1954) and later Manawatu (19571966).
There is a belief referred to in the Historic Places Trust (Manawatu) file for
this building that Natusch came to design this building as a result of a
marriage between one of the Natusch sons and a relative of the Coombs
family. The marriage in question occurred on 19 May 1914 between
Charles Aleck Natusch, eldest son of Mr and Mrs C. Tilleard Natusch, of
Wellington416; and Georgina Isabel, fifth daughter of Mr and Mrs Robert
Gardner of Palmerston North. The Gardner home, ‘Te Karina’, was at
Terrace End.417 Thus Ella Gardner (nee Coombs) and Charles Aleck
Natusch were married to Gardner siblings.
Alice Coombs, widow of William Coombs, and herself owner of the future
site of the Commercial Building for over a decade, died at her home
‘Birchanger’, in Featherston Street, Terrace End, on 9 January 1940, aged
82. Her obituary recorded that she was born in Essex, England, in 1857,
and came to New Zealand in 1887. She then married William Coombs,
who at the time was farming at Fitzherbert. She was described as “of
outstanding character and marked ability, (and who) always took an active
414
Sources viewed are CTs WN 26/136 (Main St.) and WN25/174 (cnr George &
Main Sts.). These CTs and others were combined in 1953 as WN 605/92. The
Commercial Building’s prior CT is WN605/95, suggesting that it dates from the
same time.
415
Manawatu Evening Standard 12 August 1925 9(1)
416
See also: Guy K. Natusch, ‘Natusch, Charles Tilleard, 1959-1951’ in The
Dictionary of New Zealand Biography, Vol. 3 (Wellington, 1996), pp. 356-7
417
Manawatu Evening Standard 20 May 1914 6(3)
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Palmerston North City Council
interest in religious and social welfare wherever she had lived and
particularly has Palmerston North benefited by her activities. Her
outstanding work on the Patriotic Society during the Great War and later
her untiring work as president of the Plunket Society will not be forgotten.
Many will mourn her passing in addition to her own immediate family
circle.”
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
1927, however, all have since been ‘modernised’. 419 This shop front was
apparently replaced in 1960 when the jewellery firm W.A. Knight & Son
took over this shop.420
Alice Coombs is also remembered for her large home in Featherston
Street – one of the surviving Terrace End ‘big houses’, known nowadays
as ‘Hillcrest’. However, contrary to popular belief, during the Coombs
family’s occupancy the house was named ‘Birchanger’.418
Turnbull & Jones Ltd.
Turnbull & Jones Ltd. advertised themselves in the 1937 book From
Swamp to City as ‘The Electrical Firm’ that provided ‘Everything Electrical
for the Home’. This included Moffatt electrical ranges and refrigerators,
Washmaster electric washing machines, and a wide range of other
domestic electrical ‘labour-saving devices. The firm had arrived in
Palmerston North about 1929 and for the first six years was based in King
Street. It moved to The Square in the mid-1930s. The firm undertook
wiring installations etc. as well as retail. Among Turnbull & Jones’
industrial work was the electrical fitting out of the Palmerston North Electric
Power Station itself, in Keith Street, in 1923-24.
The firm’s shop in the Commercial Building was present until about 1960,
and had been joined by their workshop on the first floor by the early 1940s.
The photo below shows their shop front in 1937 from the aforementioned
publication. Presumably this one was typical of the shop fronts built in
The Art Cabinet Co. Ltd.
The Art Cabinet Company occupied the shop closest to the present library
building for about 25 years. Its entry in From Swamp to City, states that
the shop opened in The Square in October 1935. However, the firm had
been operating in Wellington for some thirty years before that. In its first
two years, its business had done so well, that its floor space had trebled,
418
The house is referred to as ‘Birchanger’ when the Tennant-Combs wedding
occurred there in 1925, and also when Alice died there in 1940. The source of the
subsequent name ‘Hillcrest’ is unknown, and the house’s architect is also
unknown. Manawatu Evening Standard 12 August 1925 9(1), 10 January 1940
11(4).
419
‘Turnbull & Jones Ltd.’, Robert H Billens & H. Leslie Verry, From Swamp to City
(Palmerston North, 1937). Pages unnumbered. Also PN Electrical Power Station
Inc. history per V.A. Burr (Secretary, PNEPS Inc.)
420
PNCC Building Permit file T25/14-19, Durrant & Cantlon, Jan. 1960 plans.
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Palmerston North City Council
and its staff had also. The firm stated that “having absolute faith in the
future of Palmerston North, the Art Cabinet Co. today has a modern and
spacious showroom, carrying complete stocks of furniture of all
descriptions, including bedding, carpets, upholstery, soft furnishings, etc.
There is no doubt that an increasing number of Palmerston North homes
will in time come to reflect the discrimination always exercised by the Art
Cabinet Co. Ltd.” The article was illustrated with a view of a well-furnished
‘modern’ sitting room.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
First Floor
Stones 1933
Wises 1936-39
Wises 1939-44
Shop (1) nearest Main St.
Stones 1933-44
106/96 The Square - Crawford & Neal, tailors and
costumiers (& Wises)
Wises 1953-4
96 The Square - W.M. Sexton Ltd., drapery
Wises 1957-60
96 The Square - Fraser Munro Ltd., Drapers
Photo Sq 217 c1971
Gerald Taylor Ltd.,
Now
14 The Square: DTR, 14 The Square
www.dtr.co.nz (incl. shops 2 & 2a)
Shop (2) that predated 1925
Wises 1925
Albert Edward Hansel, pork butcher (his lease to
at least Dec. 1928)
Stones 1933
108 The Square - Mrs Jean Page, mens and boys
footwear (& Wises)
Wises 1936
107 The Square - William Whaley, grocer
Wises 1939-60
107/97 The Square - Schneideman & Co., tailors
(Also UFSD Bdg, Square)
Photo Sq 217 c1971
Williams Saddlery (previously in Nash Bdg,
George St.)
Shop (2a) (Shop 2 subdivided?)
Wises 1939-57
108/98 The Square – Mrs A.S. Wilson,
delicatessen
Wises 1959-60
98 The Square - Wilsons Delicatessen, L.A.
Mitchell, prop., crumpets, pies, small goods
manufacturer
Photo Sq 217 c1971
John’s Meat Market
Wises 1953-4
Wises 1957
Wises 1959-60
Now
Second Floor
Stones 1933
Wises 1939
Wises 1944-60
About 1980-86
phonebooks)
Now
109 The Square - Miss Annie Cottom, hosiery
repairer; First Church of Christ Scientist (Reading
Room); William Blair Tennant, dentist; Colonial
Mutual Life Assurance Soc. Ltd.; W. Wilson,
inspector
109 The Square - William B. Tennant, dentist;
Colonial Mutual Insurance Co. Ltd.
99 The Square - William B. Tennant, dentist;
Hollywood School of Dressmaking; Colonial
Mutual Life Assurance Soc. Ltd.; Ms Frances E.
Revere, music teacher
99 The Square - Turnbull & Jones (works);
William B. Tennant, dentist; Hollywood School of
Dressmaking; Mrs F.M. Anderson, piano teacher;
W.A. Waters, construction engineer; W.A. Waters,
construction engineer; J Mrs Robinson, dentist;
Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Soc. Ltd.
99 The Square - Turnbull & Jones (works);
Antoinette Dressmaking Salon; Mrs F.M.
Anderson, music teacher; Hong & Robinson,
dentists
99 The Square - Turnbull & Jones (works);
Antoinette Dressmaking Salon; Mrs F.M.
Anderson, music teacher; J.M. Robinson, dentists
Unknown
NZ Express Co. Ltd. sample rooms
Child Bros. sample rooms
Dept. of Agriculture
Medici Italian Restaurant (Bdg Permit files &
Unknown
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
110 The Square - John Aitchison Ltd., grocers
façade (east) has nine bays with the central seven bays projecting slightly
forward with pilasters dividing the bays. Above each of the pilasters and
windows are roundels.
110 Ms Kitty Emden, milliner
110/100 The Square - Turnbull & Jones Ltd.,
electrical engineers, latterly as Head Office
c1960 (Bdg Permit files) W.A. Knight & Son (jeweller ex-Norfolk House,
Coleman Pl)
Photo Sq 217 c1971
Gerrands Jewellers
Now
11
The
Square:
Asset
Finance,
http://www.assetfinance.co.nz/finance-companypalmerston-north.php
The ground floor plan is ‘U’ shaped and has four shops and central entry,
which leads to a central lift and stair, which wraps around the lift. The first
floor has an open space to the southern half of the building with an
east/west central corridor from the stair landing. Off the corridor are
offices facing the street. The central corridor turns at right angles along
the north wall with further giving access to further offices, which overlook a
central open area.
Shop (3)
Stones 1933
(branch)
Wises 1936
Wises 1939-60
Shop (4) nearest Coleman Place
Stones 1933
111 The Square - Mrs Elizabeth Croucher, art
needlework specialist.
Wises 1936
111 Mrs L. Croucher, draper
1935- Wises 1960
111/101 Art Cabinet Co. Ltd., house furnishers
Photo Sq 217 c1971
British Office Supplies
By 1980-1991
Leader & Watt retail showroom (Bdg Permit files
& phonebooks)
Now
10 The Square: NZCU Baywide, MidCentral,
http://www.nzcu.co.nz/default_022.html
The second floor has matching corridors to the first floor but with larger
rooms access from it.
Construction is reinforced concrete floors and frame with brick internal
walls.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has high local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and type and level of external
authenticity.
Comments:
Some of this building’s historic Certificates of Title,
needed to clarify its succession of owners since 1953, were not sighted in
the course of this study.
This building has high historic values in its connection to the Coombs
family, who were substantial property owners in the Hawkes Bay and
Manawatu, as well as the Turnbull and Jones Ltd, an electrical business
that occupied a shop in the building for over 30 years.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The building is designed in the Inter-War neo-Georgian style, which is a
related style to the Stripped Classical style where the composition is
Classical with limited, stylised Classical detailing. Georgian is a more
simple interpretation of the Classical style and, as with this building, is
symmetrical with modest detailing. The building is three storied with
ground floor central entry, a piano nobile, and attic storey. The street
The building’s architect, C T Natusch whose practice was one of the most
significant of the first half of the 20th century in New Zealand contributing a
high level of historic values.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The building has high design values as an excellent and rare
representative example of the Inter- War Neo-Georgian style.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The building has high external authenticity.
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
high local
2
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
H
H
H
H
H
H
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Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 153-154
UFSD building
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
466 square metres more or less
Lot 2 & Lot 4 DP 6285
WN304/270 (1923); prior CT WN133/184
(1904)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1928
A.R. Allen
The Palmerston North United Friendly
Societies’ Dispensary
F. Jackson & Sons
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This building was designed to house Palmerston North’s United Friendly
Societies’ Dispensary. It also contained a second ground floor shop, along
with office space upstairs for more tenants. In addition, it has also had
what seems almost obligatory for this block, a fire and a billiard parlour.
However, it can claim something more unique – its rather spectacular
encounter with the 1936 Gale.
Many tenants seem to have had some relationship to the ‘health’ industry.
The property on which it stands runs through to Cuba Street, and the
U.F.S. Chambers at the Cuba Street end, and which for two decades
housed the city’s Urgent Medical Dispensary (later called the Urgent
Pharmacy) is also part of this study.
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Palmerston North City Council
Prior History
CT WN 133/184 was issued on 9 June 1904 to James Carroll, hotelkeeper
– being the owner of the Clarendon Hotel. This hotel had burnt down on 28
January 1904, along with some of its neighbours. However, a photo taken
the next day (PN Library photo Sq 250) shows the building on this site,
which had been saved by its brick wall. The CT reveals that in 1900,
Carroll had leased space in this building to Arthur Hopwood for a period of
ten years. Hopwood, in turn, had transferred his lease to Alexander
Youngson in April 1905. The CT also records that James Carroll died on
21 May 1905.
The book on the history of Hopwood’s firm reveals that although his
business survived due to the brick wall, he did lose stock due to smoke
damage, and to the pilfering that followed the fire. A newspaper reported
at the time that Hopwood’s shop was among the heavy losers to this
pilfering. Hopwood had then moved down the road to the newly converted
former Theatre Royal building – now the site of the Mowlem Buildings
covered in this study. The latter was built in 1925 after the former Theatre
Royal building burnt down in 1924. Again Hopwood’s firm survived a major
fire – this time by having relocated again about four years earlier421
The building on this site before 1928, was distinctive due to a partially
enclosed balcony above the verandah. This balcony appears to have
served as a prime vantage point for photos of parades on the street below.
A long time occupant of this building was Mrs Jinnie Rawlins, who
operated ‘The White House’ dining and luncheon rooms there from 1908,
when she had taken over the aforementioned Alexander Youngson’s
lease. Her regular advert in the newspaper stated that she catered
weddings and smoke concerts, and that catering dances was a specialty.
She also served afternoon tea on the balcony.422
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Two other prominent tenants appear on CT WN 304/270. Henry Llewellyn
Young, of the well-known stationery firm of the recent past, H.L. Young
Ltd., appears to have leased the building then on the site now occupied by
the U.F.S. Chambers, from 1906. The other was Henry Meredith Garner
(and later with his wife Elizabeth) who leased part of the property from
1905 – their Cuba Street ‘Garner Bros.’ shop opening in February 1906.423
By 1923, the property had been subdivided into four parts, and that year
the Garners firm purchased Lots 1 and 3. The firm then relocated to The
Square end of their property – before moving on again in 1937 to become
one of the best-known Broadway businesses of its era.
Meanwhile, Lots 2 and 4, of DP 6285 (CT WN 304/270) were also sold in
1923, these going to the Trustees of the Palmerston North United Friendly
Societies’ Dispensary The new CT records that Jinnie Ann Rawlins
renewed her lease for five years starting 22 March 1923, and then
transferred the lease to J. Rawlins Ltd., in 1924. That lease was then
transferred to Gertrude Elizabeth Freeman, wife of Leonard Robert
Freeman, hotel broker, in 1925. Her firm was called Freemans’ Caterers.
The lease was due to expire in March 1928.424
The Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, records two entries in its Additions &
Alterations section, for work for the UFS in The Square, to be done
somewhere on this property. The first permit was issued on 6 June 1924,
for work done with wood and valued at £26. The second job was much
more substantial. This was permitted on 27 July 1924, and the work, in
brick and concrete, was valued at £700.425 Unfortunately the work involved
is not apparent.
423
421
Keith Goldsack, More than Hardware: Arthur Hopwood and the business he
founded (Palmerston North, 2000), p. 18, 23.
422
Manawatu Evening Standard, 8 November 1912 1(3) regular advert for ‘The
White House’
Ian Matheson, ‘The Birth of Palmerston North’, Evening Standard Centenary
Supplement, 13 March 1971, advert inside front cover.
424
PN Library photo Sq 402 (1927) show “Freeman’s Caterers” on the upper
façade.
425
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, PNCC Series 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City
Archives, PN City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
The present building
A.R. Allen’s plans for this building, dated 12 May 1928, indicate that it
consists of a basement beneath the back of the building (measuring 12 ft
by 25 ft. and containing the building’s heating system and coke chute426),
two ground floor shops, the first floor consisting of two rooms, and a
second floor meeting room (which served at the UFSD’s boardroom),
which protrudes from the roof. This meeting room, along with the stairwell,
contained “old material” presumably recycled from the previous building.
The shop on the Rangitikei Street side was described as “Shop 1”, and the
basement is beneath this shop. The staircase to it, however, is from “Shop
2”, which was the UFS’s chemist shop (or dispensary) in this building and
which was also in the same location in its predecessor. There was also an
opening in the party wall on the western side of the building that led to an
existing staircase in the neighbouring building that in turn led from the first
floor directly to the street.
A feature of the building was a large louvred skylight mounted on the roof,
which was described as being of Pinkerton wired glass and supported by
Pennycook’s ‘F’ bars. This was about two-thirds of the width of the
building, and was atop a glazed light and air well that reaches down
through the first floor’s Room 2, to the ceiling of the ground floor
overlooking the actual dispensary. A second smaller skylight in the roof of
the second floor room, overlooked the two staircases that, in turn, began in
Shop 2 and passed across Shop 1. Although Shop 2 was narrower than
Shop 1, it clearly predominated in terms of use of space.427
426
The plans for the U.F.S. Chambers in Cuba Street show a long internal
passage along the western side of that building. This passage and presumably one
like it in the previous building on that site, are the means by which coke, etc. would
have been delivered to this location in this building – other than through the middle
of the shops.
427
Plan 530/186-187, PNCC 4/13/6, Ian Matheson City Archives.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The permit was duly issued on 18 June 1928, and the brick building was to
cost £5,141. Its builder was F. Jackson & Sons.428
The angled skylight on the roof of UFDS building is clearly visible above, alongside
the second floor meeting room where the UFS committee held its board meetings.
The separate access to the first floor is through the side of the dark-roofed building
sometimes referred to as the McDuff building (or its replacement), and at other
times as the Woolworth’s building. Photo: Whites Aviation Ltd., Palmerston North &
District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
The Occupants
Mortgages listed on CT WN 304/270 between May and November 1928
are doubtless applicable to the construction of the new building. The first
lease involving the new building, was the letting of Shop 1 to J. R.
MacKenzie Ltd. for a seven-year term starting on 14 November 1928. By
the 1933 Stones Directory, this firm had moved to a neighbouring shop, a
location that firm occupied for decades (albeit that its building was
428
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, PNCC 4/13/1, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN
City Library
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Palmerston North City Council
replaced during that time). Thereafter no shop leases are referred to on
the CT.
Various upstairs rooms within the building were leased for five-year terms,
starting on 1 April 1930, with Charles George Wilson. He leased Rooms 1,
2 and 3 (effectively the entire first floor), with rights over Rooms 5, 6 and 7
(the latter being the toilets etc.). Wilson is listed in the 1933 Wises
Directory as operating it as a billiard parlour.
The CT indicates that the side stairwell through the adjoining building
served the billiard parlour. This also causes problems in terms of outlining
with certainty the occupancy of the first floor of this building, as the
Directories tended to assume that known occupants of this building, were
in fact upstairs in the neighbouring building. Possibly some were.
Wilson must have departed about 1933, as he was gone before the 1933
Stones Directory was published in November 1933, which indicates that
he had been replaced by a dentist, a music teacher and Miss Maud
Pritchard, a dressmaker who was still there in 1960. A new lease in 1935
for the same rooms that Wilson had, plus the passageway, was to Jack
Goldie Anderson. This in turn was transferred to William John Anderson in
1938 – with the lease ending 1940. Their use of the building is unclear,
however, a sign on top of the building’s façade in the 1930s reads
“Anderson & Bell”.429
The 1936 Gale
Photo Stm8 in the PN City Library’s photographic collection shows Shop
No. 2’s front entrance smashed and scattered on the footpath. At the time,
Schneideman Bros. occupied the shop, however, the display items from
their advertised annual suit sale are nowhere to be seen. The photo was
taken just after the 1936 Gale passed through the region on Sunday, 2
February, killing a man in Elmira Avenue and causing serious and
widespread damage. Described as the worst in living memory to that time,
it had struck in the early hours of the morning and had lasted unabated for
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
most of the day. The Manawatu Evening Standard recorded, amongst its
extensive report of the event, that:
When the gale had subsided the Square presented an amazing
spectacle with its broken hoardings and broken plate glass
windows. Heavy damage was done to those in the shopping area;
particularly on the north-western side of the Square, where the
footpaths were littered at frequent intervals with broken glass.
Inside the pharmaceutical premises there was a scene of chaos
where the wind had ravaged the dispensing room after a skylight
had been stove in.430
The Wises Directories appear to list the address of the first floor according
to its street access in the adjoining building. Therefore in 1936, this floor
had the address 134 The Square and had three occupants. The 1939
Directory lists one of the occupants at this address as William J. Anderson,
a dentist. By the 1944 Directory, the street number is 121 The Square, and
the occupants include known tenants of the first floor, namely Glaxo
Laboratories and the Standard Optical Company.
Ronald Gordon Spence leased Rooms 1 and 2 (with right of way over
Rooms 5-7) for five years starting 10 June 1940. The Standard Optical
Company of Australasia Ltd. then leased Room 3 (plus access to Rooms
5-7) from 1 August 1940. In 1950, they added Room 2 to their lease for
another five years. Stanley Kenneth Phillips (a dentist) then leased Room
1 (“together with use of WC’s on the first floor and the passages…”) from 1
April 1954, until the lease was taken over by Henry Charles Brian
Wycherley in 1962. Thereafter no leases are recorded on the CT.
The history of the Glaxo firm, Glaxo: From Bonnie Babies to Better
Medicine, records that in 1942, the company’s main office moved from
their Bunnythorpe factory, to the area above the chemist shop within this
building. This was due to the need to make room for the expanded
manufacturing programme at the factory. The company also rented space
430
429
PN Library photo Sq 250 (c1936).
Manawatu Evening Standard, 3 February 1936 7(4). Part of a much larger
report.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
in the neighbouring MacDuff building (since demolished – probably once
Garners’ shop), although this might have been a misinterpreted reference
to the lease of the staircase in the McDuff building. The Glaxo office
remained there until 1950, when that company’s new premises in
Botanical Road were completed.431
The Fire
This building has not escaped the tendency to serious fires that afflicted
this block in the past. The Manawatu Evening Standard of 15 October
1948 recorded:
Early morning fire: Building in city, Brigade’s good save
An outbreak of fire gutted part of the first floor of the United
Friendly Societies’ building in the Square in the early hours of this
morning. Considerable damage was done to manufacturing
equipment in the Standard Optical Company’s premises, where the
fire is believed to have started, and in the office of Glaxo
Laboratories (NZ) Ltd.
Pieces of framing from the skylight fell through the floor of
Schneideman and Sons’ shop and set the linoleum alight, but this
portion of the fire was extinguished before the flames could spread.
The alarm was given at 5:30am by a passing motorist who
noticed smoke emitting from the ventilators in the roof of the
building. The Palmerston North Fire Brigade dispatched two
engines, under Superintendent N.G. Buick, to the scene of the fire.
At first there was some doubt as to where it was situated, as no
flames were visible. Hook ladders were erected up the face of the
U.F.S. building, and entry was eventually gained by forcing a glass
door at the back of the building.
The seat of the fire appeared to be beside the skylight near
a temporary partition between the Standard Optical Company’s
premises and Glaxo’s offices. The partition was quickly burnt
through though, and the fire spread through both offices.
Fortunately, the building is a concrete one, and the absence of
draught prevented a further spread of the flames.
Little material damage was done, though heat, smoke, and
water took their usual toll. A large stock of optical lenses was
untouched by the fire. It is not yet certain what the cost of the
damage is, but a large amount of papering and plastering work will
have to be done. The premises and equipment were fully insured.
When flames were discovered at the back of
Schneideman’s shop, the front door was forced open and the
blazing linoleum was extinguished before the fire could spread to
the valuable stock in the shop. Firemen also gained access to the
first floor through the damaged skylight.
The cause of the outbreak is not yet definitively known, but
investigations are being carried out.432
This building’s original June 1928 entry in the Building Permit Register
(Vol. 3, p. 394) includes the note “loaned L.G. West 21/10/1948”,
indicating that this architectural firm probably did the repairs.
The CT records that in 2002, the property was sold to present owners,
Simon Francis and Catherine Russ. In May 2003, Catherine Russ opened
the Thermostat Art Gallery on the first floor of the building overlooking The
Square, in space previously occupied by dentists and a beautician. There
were also three flats on the property – two of these being in the U.F.S.
Chambers. In 2005, this gallery was described as one of the two main
private galleries in town (along with Taylor Jensen Fine Arts in another
building being studied here). The article stated that the gallery was “a
space created to cultivate artists. Run under the most optimal conditions to
see art with huge windows pooling natural light into the room and bare
white walls…”433
432
431
Julia Millen, Glaxo: From Bonnie Babies to Better Medicine, the people who
made Glaxo (Palmerston North, 1991), pp. 93, 107
Manawatu Evening Standard, 15 October 1948 4(6)
Manawatu Evening Standard 10 May 2003, p. 4 ‘Hot art chemistry’, & 21
January 2005, p. 18 ‘Doubletake.
433
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary
The friendly society movement originated in England where local
communities formed voluntary associations for mutual aid. This was a
forerunner to medical benefit funds and the aim was to serve the ordinary
person by providing sick pay if they were unable to work, funeral
allowances if the family breadwinner died, and to permit them access to
reasonably priced quality medicines. Over time these local groups joined
with other similar groups, and these became the basis of the friendly
societies. The local groups were known as lodges. Some of these lodges
combined to establish medical benefit societies that contracted doctors to
serve their members. At first these doctors supplied the medicine they
prescribed, however later the united friendly society dispensaries were
formed to supply medicine to the lodge members.434
this study, and the building concerned is now 207 Cuba Street and
occupied by the Crankit cycle shop. The dispensary is listed in this location
in the Wises Directories between at least 1916 and 1922, and it probably
remained there until 1923, the year the UFSD bought the site being
studied here.
A meeting held on 13 March 1906 with a view to starting a United Friendly
Societies’ dispensary in Palmerston, failed to gain enough support at that
time to proceed with the attempt. Only 206 shares, out of the 2,000
needed to start the project, were applied for. Of the ten lodges involved,
the Druids, at 115 shares offered, were the most enthusiastic about
signing up. Four lodges did not apply for any shares.435
The UFS Dispensary’s shop closed down in about 1998, after about 75
years on this site – in two different buildings on the same site. The UFS
Chambers facing Cuba Street, which was built in 1961, had earlier ceased
operating as the Urgent Pharmacy by 1982. The organisation’s name was
then changed to the Palmerston North United Friendly Societies Board in
2000, along with a number of other rule changes that were previously
required when running the dispensary. By that time the organisation
consisted of only five lodges. The funds from the sale were then invested
and the resulting interest is in part used for active members of the Friendly
Societies in Palmerston North, and for subsidising prescriptions.439
In November 1912 another meeting was called by the United Friendlies’
Council, met with much more success. The council was “now very hopeful
of establishing the dispensary at a very early date.”436 The “Palmerston
North United Friendly Societies’ Dispensary” was duly registered on 16
October 1914.437
What appears to have been the UFSD’s first dispensary was located in
Cuba Street, in the oldest of the block of three near identical two-storied
buildings on the corner of Cuba and Lombard Streets. This block is part of
434
http://www.terrywhitechemistslaunceston.com.au/history.php “What are Friendly
Societies?” - Launceston Friendly Society Pharmacy Ltd., Australia.
Manawatu Evening Standard, 15 March 1906, 4(6)
436
Manawatu Evening Standard, 13 November 1912 4(7)
437
No. 1803008, Companies Office website: www companies.govt.nz
435
The NZ Truth published an article on the Palmerston North United Friendly
Societies’ Dispensary’s first annual report in January 1916. This recorded
that 1949 shares at ten shillings each, had been taken up, resulting in a
paid up capital of £933. “With that small sum a very promising chemist’s
business has been built up. To prove that statement we have the fact that
a gross profit of £942 was made in the first year of operation.” The society
had made a nett profit of £159/9/10 in that year.438
At present there are eleven UFS Dispensaries in New Zealand, the closest
being in Hawkes Bay and Wellington.440
438
NZ Truth, Issue 554, 29 January 1916, p. 4 ‘ Palmerston North United Friendly
Societies Dispensary’ (my copy from paperspast.natlib.govt.nz)
439
Manawatu phone books; Companies Office website: www companies.govt.nz ;
and Mather Papers, Cuba Street (PN Historical Society Inc., 2007) p. 31. Note that
UFSD rules are also available on the Companies Office website from when the
dispensary was operating.
440
http://www.hibernian.org.nz/ufsdispensaries.htm
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Schneideman & Sons Ltd.
Schneidemans had a long connection with this building. The millinery and
tailoring firm, which had arrived in Palmerston North about 1922, was
burnt out in the major fire of 22-23 February 1924 that destroyed the
former Theatre Royal building. It is not clear when the firm took over the
lease of their shop in this building, but they had replaced a branch of the
tailoring firm Burton Montague by the mid 1930s.
tradition of a firm which has extended throughout New Zealand and
has an exceptionally large staff at its command.
Selecting, with the aid of competent buyers, all the latest in
suit fabrics, both for quality, serviceability, pattern, and all the
factors which go to the making of smart clothes, they are in a
position to fit every customer and to satisfy every desire as to style.
With years of tailoring experience to stand them in good stead, they
have perfected the art of giving a man the clothes that make him at
ease on all occasions. Whether for the office, sports or social
occasions, a Schneideman suit lends the assurance indispensable
to success.
This hallmark of quality, coupled as it is with a record of
prices that make tailoring by Schneidemans an economy, have
brought to the Palmerston North branch a large and appreciative
clientele, including many country residents…441
The naturalisation records of six male members of the Schneideman
family – one dated 1911, while the rest were either 1920 or 1921 –
indicated that they were from Riga, Latvia, and that the three oldest of
them had previously been naturalised in the United Kingdom. All six were
tailors living in Wellington at the time of their various naturalisations.442 It is
not clear which if any members of this family came to Palmerston North.
Their entry in the 1937 Palmerston North Diamond Jubilee book, From
Swamp to City, included the above photo that shows the leadlight upper
windows that survived the 1936 Gale the previous year. The article also
gave an indication of the firm’s perception of its place in the local market:
It was about fifteen years ago that Messrs Schneideman and Co., a
tailoring and suiting house with a fine reputation already established
elsewhere for high quality workmanship, realised something of the
great future that awaited Palmerston North and decided to extend
their activities to this centre. Since then they have built up, by
unfailing care and service, a large business in keeping with the
The shops’ front doors have since been relocated nearer to the footpath
edge from the 1928 originals. However, the position of the original front
walls is still evidenced by tar sealed patches on the footpath.
The 1941 Manawatu phone book lists a second business as part of this
firm. That is Schneideman & Co., which advertised itself as a Ladies’ tailor,
and as coat and costume specialists, with Mae E. Dalefield as its
manageress. Schneidemans was still there in the late 1950s.
441
R.H. Billens & H.L. Verry, From Swamp To City (Palmerston North, 1937)
‘Schneideman & Sons Ltd.’ (page unnumbered). This photo is also PN City Library
photo Bc219
442
Register of Persons Naturalised in NZ before 1948: Non-Commonwealth
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Palmerston North City Council
Shop nearest Rangitikei Street (153 The Square)
1928
J. R. MacKenzie Ltd. (leased Shop 1, ref: CT WN
304/270)
Wises 1933
Burton Montague, tailors (branch).
Wises 1936-60 Schneideman & Sons Ltd., tailors
c1993-now
The Shearing Shed
Shop nearest George Street (154 The Square)
1928-1998
United Friendly Society Dispensary (same site in previous
building)
Now
Recycle Boutique, www.recycleboutique.co.nz
Upstairs
(Some tenants were listed in the Directories as if they
were in the neighbouring building. However, this was
because the direct street access was and still is in the
neighbouring building)
Wises 1933
Charles George Wilson, billiard parlour
Stones late 1933
134 The Square – Miss Evelyn M. Rawlins,
teacher of music; Rapid Dental Repair Service, E.E.
Boock proprietor; Miss Maude Pritchard, dressmaker;
Caleb Lincoln Carr, manufacturer’s representative
Wises 1939
134 The Square - Ms Maude Pritchard, dressmaker;
McLeavey & Loveday, dressmakers; William J. Anderson,
dentist; Ernest E. Boock, dental repairs
Wises 1944
121 The Square - Ms Maude Pritchard, dressmaker;
Standard Optical Co. of Australasia Ltd.; Ernest E. Boock,
dental repairs; Glaxo Laboratories (NZ) Ltd.; A.E. Higgins
First Aid Supplied Co.
Wises 1950-51 121 The Square - Ms Maude Pritchard, dressmaker;
Rapid Dental Repair Service; Standard Optical Co. of
Australasia Ltd.; Ernest E. Boock, dental repairs; Glaxo
Laboratories (NZ) Ltd.
Wises 1953-54 121 The Square - Ms Maude Pritchard, dressmaker;
Rapid Dental Repair Service; Standard Optical Co. of
Australasia Ltd.; Stan K. Phillips, dentist
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Wises 1959-60 121 The Square - Ms Maude Pritchard, dressmaker; Stan
K. Phillips, dentist; H.C. Wycherley, dentist; Kon-Tiki
Beauty Salon; Classic Studios, photographers
2003-now
Thermostat Art Gallery
Comments:
The relationship with the neighbouring building/s in terms
of the staircase is of note – as is the original decision not to give the first
floor its own separate direct street access in the first place. Ian
Matheson’s notes on the plans for that building (McDuff’s Ltd., 530/168169, PNCC 4/13/6) indicate that the original building that supplied that
staircase, has been demolished and replaced – possibly around 1947, with
earthquake repairs being referred to.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The original plans show a three-storied building with basement. On the
ground floor are two shops, which are divided longitudinally into two
unequal sized shops with angled ingos. The smaller of the two shops has
the dispensary and ladies toilet half way between the street and rear, with
the rear space a store and with the stairs to the basement. The rear
(north) of the shop gives access to four toilets serving both shops. The
larger shop is shown as a large undivided space.
The first floor is shown as two spaces a corridor on one side. The rear
space is approximately one third of the floor area and is separated from
the front space with a glazed light well. In the centre of the front space are
the stairs, which lead to a room, noted as “existing room” on the roof with
roof access. The drawings note that this is “former with old materials as
directed”.
Access to the first floor from the ground floor is not clear, as there are no
stairs shown from the ground to the first floors. An extension to the east
suggests that access is from another building.
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Palmerston North City Council
Construction appears to be reinforced concrete floors and frame, rendered
on the exterior. Above verandah windows are steel and the drawings note
that the shopfronts are bronze with lead light toplights and timber double
doors.
The style of the building is Inter-War Stripped Classical with a symmetrical
street façade comprising a balustraded and pilastered parapet, cornice,
and panelled pilasters. Window glazing bars are divided into Classical
patterns.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and level of external authenticity.
This building has moderate historic values in its association with the
United Friendly Society Dispensary, a mutual aid society first established
in England, for which the building was constructed. It is also has
moderate historic associations with the International firm Glaxo as its
headquarters for six years after the firm outgrew its Bunnythorpe premises
and until the firm’s new Botanical Road factory was ready.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
M
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
H
The building is also associated with its regionally significant architect, A
R Allen, a Palmerston North architect of the mid twentieth century who
designed buildings in Napier, Gisborne, and Palmerston North.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Inter- War Free Classical style.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.
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M
M
H
Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 161-163
Mowlem buildings (formerly Bares Building)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
578 square metres more or less
Part Section 258-259 Town of Palmerston
North
WN342/285 (1927) Prior CTs WN316/200
(1924), WN27/123 (1881)
Nil
Nil
Nil
117
1925
H.L. Hickson & A.R. Allen, Associated
Architects
Frederick Mowlem
Unknown
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
The present property consists of two ground floor shops and office space
upstairs, and is also closely associated in terms of ownership and shared
history with the other Mowlem/Bares building on the property that faces
Cuba Street. That building is also part of this study.
Prior History
This is one of the more historic sites covered in this study, albeit that this
building follows on from the main historic events. This was the site of the
two-storied Foresters’ Hall, built by the Foresters’ Lodge in about 1875.
The hall was used as a lodge room and public hall, and many of the social
events of the fledgling town occurred there. This status was enhanced
further when local land agent, Frederick Mowlem, and his business partner
Page 225
Palmerston North City Council
James Linton, bought the property in 1884. They altered and added to the
property and named it the Theatre Royal.443
The first fire to directly affect this property occurred on the 14 March 1895,
when fire broke out at the Theatre Royal, destroying that building and also
its neighbour on the site of what is now 164-165 The Square (see that
study also).444 The small pair of shops still on that site, were built in 1895
as a result of that fire. However, while that building survives today, the
replacement Theatre Royal Mk. II, was not so lucky. It saw in the earliest
silent movies around 1900, but by 1904, the Mowlem family (J. Linton
having sold them his share in 1897) had decided that its time as a theatre
was up. The Opera House was due to open in 1905, and so in 1904 it was
converted into shops - part of which was leased, from 1 April 1904, to
Arthur Hopwood to house his ironmongery business. Hopwood’s four-yearold business had been sited a few doors down the road, however, the
Clarendon Hotel fire (corner of the Square, Cuba and Rangitikei Streets)
occurred on 28 January 1904, and although Hopwood’s shop was
protected by a brick firewall, thereby suffering relatively little, it was time
for the firm to move on. The firm relinquished the lease on this building in
mid-1919, however the firm’s history publication states that it remained in
this building until 1920, when it moved to the Main Street site where the
Downtown carpark now is. This firm survives now as the local Mitre 10
Mega Store.445
The second fire to strike the former Theatre Royal Mk. II, which occurred
on the night of 22-23 February 1924, was much larger that the 1895 fire. It
started in the centre of the block, at the back of the Empire Auction Mart,
443
Ian Matheson, ‘The Birth of Palmerston North’, Evening Standard Centenary
Supplement, 13 March 1971, p. 96. (Note that some of these dates do not
correspond with the CT.)
444
Manawatu Herald, 16 March 1895 2(7) ‘Fire in Palmerston North’. Note that this
page was microfilmed without cutting the binding, meaning the right side of the
item is hard to read due to the fold of the volume.
445
CT WN27/123; Keith Goldsack, More than Hardware: Arthur Hopwood and the
business he founded (Palmerston North, 2000) p. 23.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
which fronted Cuba Street and which had been the Theatre Royal’s main
hall. That building was entirely destroyed. The fire cleared a path through
the block between The Square and Cuba Street, much like the nearby
1904 Clarendon Hotel fire had done. At the time, the Square frontage of
the former Theatre Royal was occupied by Schneideman’s millinery and
tailoring shop, Stanley’s drapery store, and Miss Finnigan’s “Bobby’s”
confectionary store. It is not clear how these last three shops had been set
up within this large former theatre building, however, they also were
destroyed. The two brick Kerslake buildings alongside them also suffered
badly, the two-storied Cuba Street building being gutted, while one of the
two shops in the Kerslake building fronting The Square was also gutted.
However, they were rebuilt and survive today.446
A few days later the Manawatu Daily Times reported that “The fire brigade
desires to acknowledge with thanks a cheque for £5 from Messrs F. and J.
Mowlem for services rendered at the recent fire.” Mowlem Bros then
invited tenders to remove the fire debris, with all debris to become the
property of the successful tenderer.447
Given the recent fire, the 1925 Wises’ Directory lists no entries between L
Giorgi’s shop (now 164 The Square) and King’s Chambers - which for
many years included the McKenzies shop, but since demolished.
Although, one shop still listed as present in the King’s Chambers building,
that of Ernest D. Wycherley’s men’s outfitters, had suffered damage during
the fire.
The Mowlem Building - 1925
The architects for the replacement of The Square end of the property were
H.L. Hickson & A.R. Allen, their plans being dated 14 November 1924.
They had designed comparable buildings for each end of the property, but
only the one at the Square end was built. The other one is crossed out on
the plan, and the present Natusch building was erected on that site by the
446
Manawatu Evening Standard, 23 February 1924 5(2-4) ‘Huge Conflagration
from Cuba Street to Square’.
Manawatu Daily Times 29 February 1924 4(5), 3 March 1924 10(5)
447
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Palmerston North City Council
Mowlem Estate in 1928. However, the joining structure, which included
toilets etc., was built, and in 1928 the two buildings were linked.
Noticeably absent from this building’s present façade are the words
“Mowlems Buildings,” that were to be created as “V-cut lettering” in the flat
space just above the centre upstairs windows. It is not known if they were
ever constructed, although a 1986 photo of the building shows a
something in this location, although it is illegible and shorter that what had
been planned in 1924.448
The PNCC Building Permit Register records that a permit was issued on
10 February 1925, for this brick building, which was valued at £8,887. The
(completed?) building was then inspected in December 1925.449
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Owners
Fred Mowlem’s involvement with this property began when he and James
Linton bought it in partnership in 1890. It was next transferred to James
Linton alone in early 1895, and then back to the previous partnership a few
months later. Then in 1897, when James Linton moved to Sydney, his
share was transferred to Fred’s brother James Mowlem – and this was the
ownership in place at the time of the 1924 fire.
Later in 1924 (the resulting CT WN 316/200 is dated 12 September 1924)
the property was transferred to Fred Mowlem alone. However, Fred did not
live to see even the first of his new buildings completed. After a long and
very significant contribution to the business and local body political
development of Palmerston North, he died on 22 November 1925, aged
79. His extensive obituary commented that after the fire he had bought out
his brother’s interests in the property and “decided to build a handsome
two-storeyed building which, unfortunately, he was not destined to see
actually completed.”450
His wife Mary Emma Mowlem then died on 26 August 1926 aged 76. She
had still owned the nearby Arcade building at 19-21 Coleman Place at the
time of her death.
The 1925 Mowlem in about 1950, showing the little 1895 Kerslake building
alongside, and the Union Building alongside that. Photo: Whites Aviation Ltd.,
Palmerston North & District, New Zealand (Auckland, 1950), p. 2
448
The Square Circular, Vol. 2, No. 1, published in The Tribune, 6 April 1986. This
copy from research file A 175/375 Architecture, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN
City Library. This erroneously gives Natusch as the architect of this building.
449
Building Permit Register, Vol. 3, PNCC 4/13/1,; also PNCC 4/13/6, Plan
530/196-198, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library
In 1926, this property was transmitted to Arthur Maxwell Mowlem,
stipendiary magistrate of New Plymouth; Clifton Leslie Mowlem, land
agent of PN; and Josiah Batchelor, farmer of Linton, as executors of Fred
Mowlem’s estate. The current CT (WN342/285) was first issued to them in
1927. These were the people in charge of the property at the time the
Mowlem estate had the Cuba Street building erected in 1928 – and so
they chose its architect and approved its design.
Thereafter, this building was owned by various members of the Mowlem
and Batchelor families and their descendents, and others in partnerships
with them, until 1967, when it was sold to Bares Buildings Ltd.
450
Manawatu Evening Standard 23 November 1925 7(2)
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Palmerston North is a branch of the well-known company which
today operates sixteen stores in New Zealand, and was founded by
Mr G.W. Skellerup, of Christchurch. To this day the firm is entirely
owned in the Dominion.
It is nineteen years since the Para Rubber Co. Ltd., opened their
first shop in Palmerston North, nearly opposite the Empire Hotel.
From there they went to Rangitikei Street, and after occupying three
different premises there owing to the uninterrupted expansion of the
trade, they moved nearly three years ago to their present shop in
the Square. They have been fortunate in that Mr G.D. Prattle, who
opened up the branch, remains today as manager and is a wellknown figure in the community.
Among agencies carried by the Para Rubber Co. Ltd., is one for the
world-famous Seiberling tyres, while Palmer tyres and Minor Rubber
Co’s summer footwear and gumboots are among other
distinguished lines, as is latex waterproof clothing. The firm, the
largest in New Zealand engaged in retailing tyres and rubber goods,
has made for its motto: ‘We stock it, will get it, or it’s not made of
rubber.’ To enter the shop and realise what comprehensive stocks
are carried brings home that fact that that is no idle boast. The firm
specialises, among other things, in rubber floorings, while the supply
of milking machine rubbers is a business in itself.
Repair work of all kinds for rubber products is also
undertaken, and among the enterprise shown by the Para Rubber
Co. is this and other avenues is justified by the steady record of
progress which it can lay claim to. This is the age of skilfully-made
secondary products, and in their distribution the firm plays a vital
part.452
In 1981 it was transferred to the present ownership of John Bares, Irene
Bares and Jim Demetre Bares owning one half share, and Jim Demetre
Bares, Stella Bares and Peter James Bares owning the other half share.451
Occupants
The shop with the known longest connection to this building to date was
the Para Rubber Company, which took over the building in about 1934 and
remained until 1983. Wise’s Directories also indicate that the firm also
used the Cuba Street end of the building as a repair depot.
Para Rubber Co. Ltd. was established by George Waldemar Skellerup,
and Australian of Danish extraction, who emigrated to New Zealand in
1909. He had worked for the Dunlop Company in Australia, and once in
Christchurch he started a rubber store marketing bicycle tyres and other
rubberware imported from Dunlop Australia. He formed the Para Rubber
Company in 1910, so named after a variety of rubber tree that grows in the
Amazon jungle and produced high quality raw rubber.
The company started its Palmerston North business in about 1918 and
then moved to Rangitikei Street in 1920. The shop moved to this building
in about 1934, and its original manager, Gerald Prattle, remained in that
role until 1946. He subsequently became a director of the Para Rubber
Company.
Para Rubber Co. Ltd.’s article, which was accompanied by the photo
below, in the 1937 book From Swamp to City provides a snapshot of the
company at that time:
Able to claim that they are the pioneer rubber retailing
organisation in New Zealand, the Para Rubber Co. Ltd., have a
convincing record of expansion to their credit. The shop in
451
Sources: Certificates of Title and the 1980 Land Ownership study of this
property by Victoria University students, as part of their work on properties in this
block – Research File George Street – Cuba Street – Coleman Place A175/154,
Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library.
452
‘Para Rubber Co. Ltd.’, Robert H Billens & H. Leslie Verry, From Swamp to City
(Palmerston North, 1937). Pages unnumbered.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
than double the size), it was one of 30 branches throughout New
Zealand.453
Shop closest to Rangitikei Street (161 The Square)
Wises 1927-28 Albert G. Richards, ladies outfitter
Wises 1930
John Murray, tearooms
Stones 1933
The Royal Dutch Ltd, luncheon & tearooms
1934-1983
The Para Rubber Co. Ltd.
1983-1990
Hatters Restaurant (phonebook)
1994
Park Square Restaurant & Takeaways (CBD Heritage
Inventory SQ20)
Now
Hana Mizu Ki Japanese Restaurant
The Para Rubber Company acted as the retail division of Skellerup
Industries Ltd., the products of which ranged from milking machine
components, vinyl flooring, furniture, rubber footwear and salt. The salt
production came about during World War II when the government of the
day introduced stringent import controls on some products, including salt,
from which some chemicals used in the rubber manufacturing process
were derived. As a result, G.W. Skellerup (who was in due course
knighted for his efforts toward New Zealand industry) decided to try to
establish a homegrown salt supply and, along with Dr. Marsden of the
D.S.I.R., his firm began to develop the salt works at Lake Grassmere.
By the time the Para Rubber Company relocated to its next site in 1983
(the former Salvation Citadel in Broadway – now Barris - which was more
Mowlem Buildings (162 The Square - upstairs tenants)
Wises 1927
Wellington Publishing Ltd.; Mrs E. Matthews, hair
specialist; H. de Courvosier,
Masseur
Wises 1930
Wellington Publishing Co.; H:I.M.S. Runnicles, music
teacher; Miss M. Johansen, costumer
Stones 1933
The Dominion (branch)
Wises 1936
Wellington Publishing Co. Ltd.
Wises 1944
The Dominion (branch)
Wises 1953-4 A Christie, flooring specialist; Bruce Watt, photographer;
The Dominion newspaper; Flooring Distribution Co. Ltd.; &
Adele Wilson, dressmaker
Wises 1957
Ms Isabel Stewart, dressmaker; Herbert A. Seifert,
journalist; The Dominion newspaper
Wises 1959-60 The Dominion newspaper
Now
unknown
453
Manawatu Evening Standard 1 September 1983, p. 17 ‘New Para almost ready
to bounce into action’; 21 September 1983, p. 13 ‘Firm’s founder went from rags to
riches’; 21 September 1983, p. 12 ‘Leisure display a feature’. See also: G.W.
Crozier, If its made of Rubber: Para 75 Years, 1910-1985 (Para Rubber Co. Ltd.,
1985)
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Palmerston North City Council
Shop closest to George Street (163 The Square)
Wises 1927
L. Noedl, fancy goods
Stones 1930-36
Offers Ltd., footwear specialists (D G Walker local
manager);
Wises 1944-60
James Stenberg, boot retailer (possibly until well
into the 1960s)
Last there 1986
Broadlands Centre/Broadbank (photo Squire
Circular Vol. 2, No. 1-phonebook)
1994
Scotch Wool Shop (CBD Heritage
Inventory SQ20)
2001-Now
Pompeii
Gourmet
Pizza
Restaurant,
www.pompeii.co.nz
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
floor from a central entry.
corridors either side.
The first floor has a central light well with
The structure appears to be concrete encased steel beams with reinforced
concrete façade and timber flooring and roof framing. Windows to the
above verandah street elevation are steel with oak framed shopfronts
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values, representivity of building style and level of external authenticity.
This building has moderate historic values in its historic associations with
the Mowlem family who built it and who owned it for over 40 years.
Additions & Alterations
PNCC Building Permit file T25/196-198 includes an application for a permit
relating to Broadlands Finance, which had first floor accommodation above
their existing retail shop. In 1983 an application was made for a permit for
interior alterations for the Hatters Restaurant, while another was made for
a sign for this restaurant in 1988. In 1987 alterations were to be done for a
shop for Millers Ltd., by architect C.B. Wells of Christchurch. While in 1997
new entry doors were to be installed for the Players Bar at 196 The
Square. A note in the file from 2001 said that this restaurant had now
closed, but another had opened in its place.
The original and later ownership and tenants reflects a moderate level of
continuity as a typical pattern of similar commercial buildings throughout
the city.
File T25/196 covers the conversion in 2001 of a shop in the building to the
new Pompeii Restaurant, which included the installation of a log-fired
pizza oven.
The building has moderate design values as a representative example
of the Inter- War Free Classical style, a not uncommon style for
commercial buildings from the late Victorian period.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
The plans available from the PNCC Archives show elevations and
sections, but no floor plans. It appears from the cross section that the two
storeyed building was divided longitudinally into two shops with central
dividing wall with stairs either side of the central wall leading to the first
The building is also associated with its original architect, A R Allen, a
regionally significant Palmerston North architect of the mid twentieth
century who designed buildings in Napier, Gisborne, and Palmerston
North.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
The exterior of the building has moderate levels of authenticity.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
M
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
M
H
M
M
H
Page 231
Palmerston North City Council
The Square, 164-165
Kerslake Building (now part Monsoon Asian Kitchen)
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
BUILDING DETAILS
Building’s Address:
Owner:
Owner’s Address:
Assessment Number:
Property ID:
Land Area:
Legal Description:
Certificates of Title:
PNCC Classification:
NZHPT No.
NZHPT Classification:
NZHPT Manawatu No:
Construction Date:
Architect:
Original Owner:
Builder:
164-165 The Square (renumbered from
#199-200)
455 square metres more or less
Part Section 258 Township of Palmerston
North
WN 27/124 (1881)
Nil
Nil
Nil
Nil
1895
Unknown
Harriet Elizabeth Kerslake
Unknown
PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL HISTORY
History
This relatively simple building is the oldest covered in this study. It is by far
the older of only two single storey buildings left in the Square, and also
has the remarkable situation in that it retains a section of a telegraph pole
dating from the 1890s or earlier, that once served as its central verandah
post. This pole had lost its top portion by the 1920s, and more recently the
bottom portion has been replaced by a plain pipe verandah post.
However, the central metre or so of the telegraph post remains in its
original place within the verandah roof. This building also shares its
property and some if its more dramatic history with one of the oldest Cuba
Street buildings under study here - the C 2 C Surf Shop, also referred to
here as the ‘Kerslake Building – 1906’.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Previous Building
This seemingly insignificant building replaced a two-storied wooden
building that in November 1880 had opened as the ‘Temple of Fashion’.
This business was owned by Thomas Tozer Kerslake, a tailor, who was
born in Devon, England, but trained in America. He arrived in New
Zealand in 1877, on a small sailing ship full of circus animals, and soon
began tailoring in Wellington. In due course he moved to Bulls, but then
visited Palmerston North one day and decided it had more promise than
Bulls. So he immediately relocated and established his business here.
A serious fire occurred at Palmerston North on Thursday morning at
2 o’clock, the Theatre Royal, owned by Mr Linton, and two shops
owned by Mr Kerslake, being burned to the ground. The front of the
Theatre was occupied by Donnelly, hairdresser; Wood and Wishart,
watchmakers; Perrin, painter; Percival, music teacher; and Mowlem
and Linton, land and financial agents. One of Kerslake’s shops was
occupied by the Singer Sewing Machine Company.
The theatre was insured for £(illegible) - $500 each being in the
Alliance and London and Lancashire; Kerslake’s building was £400 £250 in the Standard and £150 in the London Liverpool and Globe.
Donnelly’s stock was insured in the Imperial for £40.
None of the others were insured. Most of the stock was saved.
Carmody’s Central Hotel, adjoining, was slightly damaged. The
insurance on the building, in the New Zealand office, is $800; on
stock £150 and the furniture £400 (or £40??) in the North German.
Mr Waldegrave lost his stable and Mr Linton had a room damaged
at the back of the theatre, on which there is no insurance.
The Pollard Company, which is playing a season there, lost part of
its wardrobe, scenery, etc., on which there is no insurance.
The cause of the fire is unknown. It was first discovered on the s
(side?) of the theatre. 454
Soon after he opened his new shop, the Theatre Royal was established on
the Rangitikei Street side of it (in the pre-existing former Foresters’ Hall),
while the City Butchery opened on the other (probably in another preexisting building). It appears that Kerslake’s original building contained two
shops as at present. In 1893, Kerslake sold his goodwill in his business to
the United Farmers’ Co-operative Association and he then took over
management of that firm’s tailoring department.
However, the ‘Temple of Fashion’ site remained in the name of Kerslake’s
wife, Harriet Elizabeth Kerslake (nee Best), as it had been since 1883. The
property had been granted to George Snelson in 1881 and had been
transferred to Harriet’s father, George Best of Ohariu in 1882, following the
couple’s marriage in 1881 (the couple met in Wellington in 1878). The CT
recorded in 1883, in the transfer to Harriet, wife of T.T. Kerslake, that it
had been transferred to her “for her own separate use”. This suggests that
George Best was aiming to ensure that she was the clear owner of the
property, and that it was not to become caught up the property of her new
husband – such as in the event of his business or even the marriage
perhaps failing. And so it was to remain in her name until her death in
1949.
It is not clear whether the tailoring business was still operating from the
shop in March 1895. However, that date marks the origins of the present
building. No Palmerston North newspapers survive from the 1890s, but
Foxton’s Manawatu Herald records the events of 14 March 1895:
At that time, the best Palmerstonians had in the way of fire fighting
appliances was a manual engine, with wells about 20 feet deep in each
corner of the Square.455 The fire station of the day was also handily located
in this instance – several doors down the road in Coleman Place!
Furthermore, T.T. Kerslake was a foundation member of the P.N. Fire
Brigade, which was formed in 1888. This did not save his building from the
first fire, but the reason his two buildings are still standing now, despite
454
Manawatu Herald, 16 March 1895 2(7) ‘Fire in Palmerston North’. Note that this
page was microfilmed without cutting the binding, meaning the right side of the
item is hard to read due to the fold of the volume.
455
Manawatu Evening Standard, 23 February 1924 5(4) ‘History of Building. Old
Memories Recalled’
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Palmerston North City Council
75% of them having subsequently been burnt out, certainly means he
learned from the experience.
T.T. Kerslake remained with the United Farmer’ Co-operative Association
for some years and then in 1906 he built the other building still standing on
Cuba street end of this property (in 2010 it is the C 2 C Surf Shop).
However he retired after a relatively short time in the building, and
thereafter, the business continued as the partnership Kerslake & Usmar
until at least 1918.456 However, the firm was gone by the 1920 Wises
Directory.
The Present Building
The 1896 PN Borough Council Rate Book lists this property (Pt. Sec. 258)
under the name of T.T. Kerslake, and as having a rateable value of
£737.10. A pencilled-in note states “New valuation add £350.” The 1897
Rate Book gives the new total value as £1,087.10. It seems certain,
therefore, that the present building was complete before the 31st March
1896 – and 1895 is therefore a viable construction date.
The tenants with the longest connection to this building were the Giorgi
family, who occupied the now-empty shop on the Rangitikei Street side of
the building. Ulisse Giorgi (known as ‘Lou’) was probably one of the
original tenants, and his brief entry in the Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol.
1, published in 1897, suggests that he occupied the shop in 1896 (when
information was being collected for that book). Certainly the new building
appears in two photos in the book.457 Ulisse died on 26 May 1959 aged 89,
suggesting that he would have been aged about 26 when he leased the
shop. The 1917 Alien Register describes Ulisse as 46-year-old widower
(his wife Alice died in 1913, aged 36), who was a hairdresser and
tobacconist, and who had been in New Zealand for 44 years.
456
Wise’s Directory, 1918
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol 1 (Wellington, 1897) pp. 1141 & 1141.
Architect L.G. West’s article (p. 1176) also refers to his having “designed and
supervised the rebuilding of the Theatre Royal.”
457
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
The Naturalisation records (to 1948) list three Giorgis, all immigrants from
Livorno, Italy. As all three were connected to Palmerston North, they were
almost certainly closely related. When naturalised in 1896, Dario Giorgi
(53) was a watchmaker in the town. Possibly he was the father of the other
two. When he was naturalised in 1925, Ulisse stated that he was aged 49
years, and was a retired tobacconist. He was in fact probably aged about
55. The remaining one, Arturo (‘Arthur’) Giorgi (born 1873) was a clothier
of Hastings when naturalised in 1930. However, at the time of the 1917
Alien Register’s compilation (as a wartime measure), Arturo had been a
clothier of Palmerston North. He was a partner in the well-known firm
Miller & Giorgi, that had been formed in 1902 and which soon had
branches in both Palmerston North and Hastings.458 In 1912, another
relative, Chas F. Giorgi, a cabinetmaker and upholsterer, took over the
Coleman Place building that several years later became the site of
Everybody’s Theatre. However, in 1912 it had recently been vacated by
the Nonpareil company, which had just moved next door to take over the
former Arcade building.459
Ulisse died in Wanganui on 26 May 1959, aged 89, being survived by a
widow, two daughters and his son Lance.460 Lance Giorgi, whose full name
was Dario Lanciotti Giorgi and who was born about 1899, appears to have
been in charge of the shop from soon after the First World War. In 1996,
Ian Matheson interviewed Peter Gordon in relation to the ‘Everybody’s
Theatre’. Gordon said that Lance Giorgi had been the projectionist at the
theatre, which operated between 1915 and 1924. This was before he took
over his father’s shop. He also was noted as a “bookie”.461
458
Register of Aliens, 1917 (NZ Dept. of Internal Affairs, Wellington, c1918);
Register of Persons Naturalised in NZ before 1948: Non-Commonwealth; R.H.
Billens & H.L. Verry, From Swamp To City (Palmerston North, 1937) ‘Millar &
Giorgi’ (page unnumbered)
459
Manawatu Evening Standard 16 October 1912 1(3). Also 1914 Wise’s
Directory
460
Manawatu Evening Standard, 29 May 1959
461
Ian Matheson’s interview with Peter Gordon. 25 July 1996, in research file
A175/148, Films & Cinemas, Ian Matheson City Archives.
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Pictorial Chronology
Photos in the Palmerston North Library photographic collection provide an
invaluable chronological record of this building and its telegraph pole. The
earliest relevant photo traced is Sq398. This G.W. Shailer photo - thought
to have been taken in the early 1890s - shows the previous building on the
site, but no telegraph poles. Next is another Shailer photo, Sq112, still
showing the previous building, but the telegraph poles are in place,
including the one that became the verandah post of the present building.
Photo SQ407 shows ‘our’ building – complete with the telegraph pole
substituting as its central verandah post – alongside Mowlem’s newly
rebuilt Theatre Royal. However, the buildings on either side of these two
are the same ones present before the 1895 fire. In this photo and those
taken over the next several decades, ‘our’ single storey building is
distinctive because of its two original towering triangular parapets. These
reached two-storey heights like their neighbours, but clearly were for show
only. The name “L. Giorgi” is also clearly displayed above his shop,
however, the name of the occupant of the second shop (now Monsoon
Asian Kitchen) is illegible. Meanwhile Sq129, taken from the fire bell tower
overlooking the building, shows an above-and-behind-the-scenes view of
the telegraph pole disappearing into the verandah sometime before 1910
when the fire bell tower was removed.
This cropped version of Photo Sq142, taken about 1912, shows the original twin
points this building had until the 1930s at the centre-right of the photo. To the right
of it is the former entrance to the Theatre Royal, by this time Arthur Hopwood’s
ironmonger’s shop, and which burnt down in 1924. The Nonpareil company’s
rooftop sign marks the former ‘The Arcade’ building, while over on Cuba Street,
Stage One and Two of the three-stage Bryant building are visible above the “Co” of
Nonpareil’s sign. (This photo copied from G.C. Petersen’s Palmerston North: A
Centennial History [PN, 1973]. Opp. p. 137)
Photo Sq388, taken between 1915 and about 1920, shows that the line of
telegraph poles in this section of The Square have gone. However, photo
Sq402, taken in 1927, shows that part of this telegraph pole remains as
the thick lower part of the central ‘verandah post’ (of three), and that it is
now striped in the traditional fashion for barber’s shops.
Photo Sq218, taken in 1937, shows that the twin upper parapets on the
building are both gone, and that the building appears to have the same
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Palmerston North City Council
type of plain upper façade as it does now. Given their height, they may
have been vulnerable to earthquake anxieties or strong winds – and
perhaps in particular the 1936 Gale.
The Second Fire (Giorgi’s Hairdresser’s & the Universal Supply
Store)
This building came close to a premature end on the night of 22-23
February 1924, when half of the building – that part now occupied by
Monsoon Asian Kitchens – was gutted by fire. The other Kerslake building
in Cuba Street was also completely gutted. Some of their neighbours,
however, faired much worse, with the four wooden shops that were
formerly the 1904 Theatre Royal (No. 2), and which were owned by
Messrs J. & F. Mowlem, being totally destroyed.
The fire had begun behind the Empire Auction Mart (formerly the theatre’s
main hall) in the centre of the block, and had then spread to the back of
the Universal Supply store, fanned by a fresh north-easterly breeze. Little
of its stock survived the smoke or water damage, and when the shop
reopened nearby a few days later in the Cuba Street end of the former
Arcade building (also covered in this study), the firm made a point of
advertising that it was offering all new stock for sale.
Giorgi’s shop, however, suffered only slightly from fire at the rear of the
premises, and from water damage. Furthermore, he had been able to
rescue some of his stock as the other buildings burnt. When the wooden
shops had been deemed impossible to help, the fire brigade had focussed
its attention – and hoses – onto this shop and the frontage of the Universal
Supply store, both of which had brick walls. However, a storeroom at the
rear of Giorgi’s shop, containing a number of cases of kerosene, was
considered to be the source of “frequent dull reports” emanating from its
vicinity. Considerable effort was also put into preventing the fire, with its
clouds of sparks, from igniting the “Soldiers’ Club” - the former RSA
building on the corner of George and Cuba Streets.
At the time this building was insured with the Standard and Yorkshire
Insurance Companies for a total of £1,600. The Universal Supply store
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
held insurance policies to the value of £3,000, while Giorgi’s shop had an
insurance policy for £1,000.462
The 1936 Gale
Although there is no certainty that the upper façade of this building was
lost to the 1936 Gale (it may even have been removed after the 1931
earthquake), it certainly disappears within that timeframe. This ‘infamous’
Gale passed through the region on Sunday, 2 February, killing a man in
Elmira Avenue and causing serious and widespread damage. Described
as the worst in living memory to that time, with winds estimated at a
velocity of 100 miles an hour in its fiercest gusts, it had struck in the early
hours of the morning and had lasted unabated for most of the day. Nearly
every hoarding in an exposed position was destroyed, some shop fronts
were badly damaged, verandahs collapsed, and there was general chaos
throughout the district. The Manawatu Evening Standard recorded,
amongst its extensive report of the event, that:
When the gale had subsided the Square presented an amazing
spectacle with its broken hoardings and broken plate glass
windows. Heavy damage was done to those in the shopping area;
particularly on the north-western side of the Square, where the
footpaths were littered at frequent intervals with broken glass.
Inside the pharmaceutical premises there was a scene of chaos
where the wind had ravaged the dispensing room after a skylight
had been stove in.463
Ownership
This property is still on its original CT, (WN27/124) which was issued in
1881. Thomas Tozer Kerslake died on 18 June 1932, aged 80 years, and
462
Manawatu Evening Standard, 23 February 1924 5(2-4) ‘Huge Conflagration
from Cuba Street to Square’; Manawatu Daily Times 23 February 1924 7(4-6)
‘Disastrous Blaze’
463
Manawatu Evening Standard, 3 February 1936 7(4). Part of a much larger
report. The pharmaceutical premises referred to is the UFDS Building, also
covered in this study.
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Palmerston North City Council
Harriet Kerslake died on 25 May 1949, age 98.464 The property was
transmitted the same year to the couple’s son Alfred Edward Kerslake, an
accountant of PN, as executor, and then, again in 1949, ownership was
transferred to A.E. Kerslake, Harold James Lancaster, a Levin farmer, and
Frank Wakefield Verry, and Kairanga farmer, the latter two being the
husbands of two of the three Kerslake daughters.465
In 1951, the property was transferred into the ownership of the property’s
neighbour, McKenzie’s (PN) Ltd. Then in 1954 to R.E. Harrison & Co. Ltd.,
a firm that occupied a garden supplies shop in the neighbouring Union
Building in Coleman Place. In 1965, the property was transferred to The
Church Street Flats Company Ltd., of PN.466
In 1985 it was purchased by members of the Bares family. The first were
Peter and Maria Bares. Then in 1991 it was transferred to Maria Bares and
Alan McKenzie Larsen, a chartered accountant. In 1995 it was transmitted
to Alan McKenzie Larsen as survivor, and the same year it was transferred
to Alan McKenzie Larsen, John Bares, Jim Dimitri Bares and Mercina
Viatos. In 2004 it was transferred to the present ownership: John Bares,
Jim Dimitri Bares and Mercina Viatos.
Occupants of this building
The Manawatu Evening Standard documented some of the
building’s history in 1976, at the time the hairdresser then in the shop
ceased operating from this premises. Entitled “Coleman Mall’s clippers
464
Manawatu Evening Standard, 20 June 1932 6(7), Obituary: Mr Thomas Tozer
Kerslake; and 25 May 1949 11 (6), Obituary: Mrs T.T. Kerslake. The obituary says
she was aged 98, while the cemetery records say she was 97.
465
Their eldest son, H.G. Kerslake, who had been chief sub-editor of the
Manawatu Standard for many years, had predeceased his mother. (Manawatu
Evening Standard, 25 May 1949 11 (6), Obituary: Mrs T.T. Kerslake
466
Document ‘D1’ in Research file ‘George Street-Cuba Street-Coleman Place
Properties,’ land ownership data prepared by Victoria University students in 1980,
in A 175/154, Ian Matheson City Archives.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
muted after 80 years”, the article does not identify the tenant at that time,
however, a tobacconist/barber known to have been there in 1974 was a Mr
Kerr:
A symbolic cut with Palmerston North’s past was made at 9 pm
yesterday when the last hair was snipped at a men’s hairdressing shop on
the edge of Coleman Mall.
And on Monday morning, for the first time in at least 80 years,
there will not be a hairdresser’s shop on that site.
Except in recent years, the shop has always been known as
Lance Giorgi’s, a father-to-son business. Mr Giorgi junior died in February
1972, aged 73.
The shop was opened in the wild and woolly days of Palmerston
North, when men were men with beards, and hairdressers were barbers.
It was opened by Mr Dario Lanciotto Giorgi some time in the
1890s. The Cyclopedia of New Zealand lists L. Giorgi as a hairdresser
and tobacconist in 1896467, along with six others in the town. Six of the
seven had shops on the Square.
But the shop could have opened earlier. The old rate books show
Mr Giorgi as a ratepayer on two Bourke Street properties in 1891.
It is an ironic twist that, while he paid a total rates of only £1 10s
11d on those properties, it is rates which have closed the shop he started.
The present lessee said his lease was expiring. And his rent would
be increased too much because of the City Council’s differential rating
system to be introduced on April 1.
In its heyday Lance Giorgi’s boasted four chairs. Jeanne Brown,
who worked there for 35 years from 1940, remembers it well.
“It had the best fireplace in town out in the back room,” she said. “I
think Lance Giorgi must have been one of the finest men in town. I never
heard him say a cross word. He once told a soldier during the war, when
he said ‘damn’, to refrain from such language or leave the saloon.”
Miss Brown was a ladies hairdresser, teaching in Wellington at £3
11s a week, when she got the job with Lance Giorgi after the men had
gone to war. She then got £7 a week.
467
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 1 (Wellington 1897), p. 1183
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Palmerston North City Council
Jack Hamilton, who worked for Lance Giorgi for 11 years,
described him as equal to the best boss he ever had. He was honest,
quiet, and helped many people who weren’t even aware of the
assistance.468
PNCC’s Building Permit file T25/200 shows alterations to this shop, dated
6 October 2003 – which by then was Kan King Lun’s Monsoon Asian
Kitchen restaurant. This involved the relocation of the kitchen from the side
to the rear of the premises. The restaurant’s address was last listed at a
Ferguson Street address in the 1999 phone book, and was at this address
in 2000, and so the restaurant probably relocated to this address in 1999.
Shop nearest Rangitikei Street (was #199, now #164 The Square)
This shop has served at least eighty years as a hairdresser’s, with varied
use thereafter.
1896-1972
Lou Giorgi, followed by Lance Giorgi, barber/tobaccanist
1973
Gray’s Tobaccanist469 barber/tobaccanist
1974
Kerr’s Tobaccanist470 barber/tobaccanist
1993
Cameron for Jewellery (Photo in 1994 CBD Heritage
Inventory (SQ1) Moved to Regent Theatre building (MES
17/08/1993 p. 12)
1996
Pets 4 U opens (MES 28/08/1996, p. 23) Gone by 1999
phone book.
2001-3
Rapport Hair Gallery (phone books)
Most recent tenant: “moved to 274 Rangitikei St.” Alexander’s Barber’s
Shop
2010
Empty
Shop nearest George Street (was # 200, now #165 The Square)
This shop has had a wide array of tenants, although for at least 50 years it
was a grocery shop. For the past decade it has been a restaurant. Dates
are listed according to source dates (primarily Wises’ and Stones
468
Manawatu Evening Standard 27 March 1976, p.1
PN Library photo St 69; 1973 Manawatu phonebook
1974 Manawatu phonebook
469
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Directories, and later from photos and phone books), rather than indicating
when tenants came or left.
1904-7
PN Library photo Sq 116 shows “G-D---“ (obscured by the
pole and a tree)
Wises 1908
John R. Graham, storekeeper
Wises 1911
Campbell & Worrall, storekeepers
Wises 1914
H.A. Worrall, grocer (also listed in other Kerslake building,
Cuba St.)
Wises 1916
James William Rimmer, store (also PN Library photo Sq
388)
Wises 1920-22 Universal Supply Co., grocers (burnt out 1924)
Wises 1925
No occupant listed (burnt out in the 1924 fire when this list
was compiled)
Wises 1927-31 A.J. Hickin, store
Latter 1920s
PN Library photo T28 (& Sq 401, 1927) show “King” on
shop frontage
Stones 1933
Thomas Edward Barton, grocer, A.L. Hickin, manager
Wises 1936-44 Leonard Hughes, grocer (also PN Library photo Sq 284,
1937)
Wises 1950
PN Library photo Sq 219 shows no name on signage
Wises 1950-7 Watson Bros. Ltd., grocers
Wises 1959-60 No occupant listed
1993
Haworths Souvenirs (photo in CBD Heritage Inventory
SQ1). moves to Downtown complex (MES 06/04/1993, p.
9)
c1999-now
Monsoon Asian Kitchen Ltd.
Comments:
The PNCC Building Permit file for this building states that
it is earthquake-prone – however, it is also a proven survivor of some note.
ARCHITECTURAL DESCRIPTION
Available plans of the building show the existing Monsoon Asian Kitchen
as large open space with kitchen at the rear. There is no drawing
available of the other space nor any construction or elevational drawings.
470
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Palmerston North City Council
The existing buildings have angled ingos with timber shop fronts and metal
cladding above the verandah. Verandah posts are chamfered timber.
Photographic evidence suggests that the building was originally designed
in the Late Victorian Free Classical style.
STATEMENT OF SIGNIFICANCE
This building has moderate local significance for historical and design
values.
This building has moderate historic values in its association with Italian
Giorgi immigrant family. Ulisse Giorgi was noted as having a number of
interests in Palmerston North, among them being a projectionist and
bookie. As the building is now over 100 years old it has high age values.
The telegraph post in the verandah is over 100 years old.
The building has high design values as one of a number of buildings in
the Cuba Street, George Street, Coleman Place, and The Square area
which, when considered collectively, form a coherent group of buildings of
a similar age, general style, form, use, and scale.
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
ASSESSMENT SUMMARY
Significance
Proposed category
PNCC District Plan Criteria
Cultural
Emotional
Historical
Design
Technology
Spiritual
Sentimental
Symbolic
Political
People
Events
Age
Tradition
Continuity
Style
Materials
Group
Materials
Construction
moderate local
group
Contextual
Measure
Authenticity
M
H
Rarity
Landmark
Representative
Design
Setting
Materials
Craftsmanship
M
M
H
The exterior of the building has low levels of authenticity.
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L
H
Palmerston North City Council
BIBLIOGRAPHY
The footnotes throughout this study provide the sources used for specific
buildings, including some publications that are unique to those buildings.
The following, however, are the sources used repeatedly throughout the
historical component of this document.
Publications
Billens, Robert H., & Verry, H. Leslie (comp.), From Swamp to City, 18871937: Commemorating the Diamond Jubilee of the City
(Palmerston North, 1937). A number of the buildings covered in
this study appeared in this book in 1937
Bowman, Ian, & Kelly, Michael Kelly, Palmerston North CBD Heritage
Inventory for PNCC (1993)
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 1 (Wellington , 1897)
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, (Christchurch, 1908)
Whites Aviation Ltd., Palmerston North and District, New Zealand
(Auckland, c1950). The aerial photo of CBD and part of Cuba
Street in about 1950 that is shown on page two of this booklet,
provided as invaluable resource for this study.
Palmerston North City Council records
•
•
Building Permit files of the various buildings
PNCC also obtained the certificates of title (CTs) for this study
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
•
•
•
•
•
Manawatu Evening Standard microfilms
Manawatu Phonebooks (also Val Burr’s private collection)
Photographic Collection
Stone's Wellington, Hawke's Bay and Taranaki commercial,
municipal and general directory and New Zealand annual
Wises New Zealand Post Office Directories (and microfiche)
Palmerston North City Library website http://citylibrary.pncc.govt.nz
•
Online newspaper index (mostly Manawatu Evening Standard)
Ian Matheson City Archives
•
•
•
•
•
Building Permit Registers – PNCC Archives 4/13/1
Building Plans (hard copies) - PNCC Archives 4/13/6
‘George Street-Cuba Street-Coleman Place Properties’ land
ownership data prepared by Victoria University students in 1980,
in Research File A 175/154
‘Palmerston North Architects 1900-1950’ – PNCC Archives, Pam
Phillips Papers, Series 2, Folder 1
Also other files related to relevant buildings and individuals
NZ Historic Places Trust (Manawatu Committee)
• Files on about half of the buildings covered, most quite slim
Palmerston North City Council website www.pncc.govt.nz
• Geo-Guide Property Search
• Cemetery & Cremation Search
(including some headstone
photos)
Palmerston North City Library
•
•
Manawatu Daily Times microfilms
Palmerston North Electoral Rolls
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Palmerston North City Council
GLOSSARY OF ARCHITECTS
Allen, A R
Building Progress lists Allen as being an architect in Napier in 1915.
Buildings he is known to have designed include the C M Ross and Co. Ltd.
building on the Square in Palmerston North (in association with H L
Hickson) in 1927, the United Friendly Societies Dispensary Board in
Palmerston North in 1928 and the building for W. Pettie and Co. Ltd in
Gladstone Road, Gisborne in 1929. In 1940 he is noted as working on the
Bank of New Zealand Chambers in Palmerston North and in 1950 he is
listed as being an architect/draftsman for the Ministry of Works and
Palmerston North. He was awarded an FNZIA.
Blackbourn, Charles William
This building was designed by Charles William Blackbourn, a builder and
contractor who had studied architecture and who designed most of his
largest building contracts. He was born in Okato, Taranaki, in 1876, before
serving a building apprenticeship in Palmerston North and Wanganui
under Mr Coupe. He worked as a journeyman until starting his own
business in Palmerston North in 1900. By the time Volume 6 of the
Cyclopedia on New Zealand was published in 1908, Blackbourn employed
forty staff in relation to his business and his contracts. Another of his
buildings that survives is the façade of the former His Majesty’s Theatre
471
(later Ballroom Astoria) in George Street, built in 1910.
Clere, Frederick de Jersey
Frederick de Jersey Clere was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, the son of
an Anglican clergyman the Rev. Henry Clere, and spent his early youth in
Tickenham, Somersetshire. He was educated at St John's School,
Clapton, London. He was taught drawing by M.R. Hagreen, head
471
Cyclopedia of New Zealand, Vol. 6, (Wellington, 1906), pp. 674-5, ‘Blackbourn,
Charles William’
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
architectural drawing master at South Kensington. Clere was articled to
Edmund Scott, an ecclesiastical architect of Brighton. While with Scott he
would almost certainly have observed at close hand the architect's early
use of concrete in the construction of two Brighton churches, St
Bartholomew's and St James'. Once articled he joined Robert Jewell
Withers, a London architect and a follower of the Ecclesiologists. Clere
became his chief assistant and joined the Architectural Association in
London.
Clere arrived in New Zealand in 1877 and spent a short period in private
offices and in the Government. He commenced private practice, firstly in
Fielding where firm was established as F de J Clere in 1881 and then in
Wanganui, where he formed the firm Atkins and Clere in 1883. By 1886
Clere had dissolved the firm and moved to Wellington. He practised there
for the next 58 years. In 1891 Clere joined E.T. Richmond in practice and
this partnership lasted until 1895 when Gerald Fitzgerald joined Clere in
partnership, although the Richmond name continued to be associated with
the firm. Fitzgerald had just retired from the government where he had
been an engineer with the Public Works department. In 1900 the firm
became Clere and Swan, and from 1905 Clere and Clere after Swan left
the partnership to form his own firm.
Clere was elected an associate of the Royal Institute of British Architects
in 1882 and a Fellow in 1886. He held office for 50 years as one of five
honorary secretaries in the Empire. In 1883 he was appointed Diocesan
Architect of the Anglican Church, a position he held for most of his
professional life.
Clere was also a member of the Concrete Institute of London and an
enthusiastic advocate of its building properties. He was a pioneer in
reinforced concrete construction in New Zealand but it took him some time
after his arrival in the country to put his ideas into practice. His first ferro–
concrete ecclesiastical design was the Anglican Church of St Mary of the
Virgin, Karori (1911). He followed this with St Matthew's Anglican Church,
Hastings (1913), the first Gothic church built in concrete. St Mary of the
Angels (1922) is the most outstanding example of this oeuvre and certainly
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
his best known church. Another fine design is the brick All Saints Church,
Palmerston North (1911).
registered with the New Zealand Historic Places Trust relate almost
entirely to work by R W England.
While several of his outstanding churches were constructed in concrete
and brick, Clere is known for his timber churches extending throughout the
lower North Island and Motueka in Nelson.
Anything designed by England Brothers after 1908 through until the 1930s
is likely to have the hallmark of Edward (‘Eddie’) England, although he
may have given some design work to junior staff of the firm. England was
quick to embrace the Arts and Crafts and Modernist influences, albeit in
relatively conservative form.
Indeed, Edward England was the
contemporary of fellow innovator, Cecil Wood, the architect for Memorial
Hall. They were of similar age and almost certainly would have known one
another personally. The firm of England Brothers was a co-contractor for
the construction of Memorial Hall.
As well as being pre–eminent in church design, Clere was responsible for
many domestic and commercial buildings among the best known of which
are the Harbour Board and Bond Store, Wellington (1891), a number of
other Wellington Harbour Board Buildings and, in association with his son,
the Renaissance–styled AMP head office (1928). Clere was also involved
in the design of large wool sheds in Hawkes Bay and Wairarapa.
According to Clere historian, Susan Maclean, Clere designed over 370
buildings in total .
Clere was active in the formation of the New Zealand Institute of Architects
and served on their council for many years. He was a member of the
Wellington Anglican Diocesan Synod and the General Synod. He was
also a life member of the New Zealand Academy of Fine Arts.
Clere was a Councillor for a short period in 1895 in Wellington, and in the
early part of the twentieth century was a Councillor in the Lower Hutt City
Council. Clere was a foundation and life member of the Waiwhetu Lodge.
England Brothers
In the late 1920s the offices of England Brothers were located at 169
Hereford Street. Little is known of the staffing of the firm at this time, but
the name England Brothers is clearly misleading. In actual fact the chief
architect, Edward H England (1874-1949), had been in sole charge of the
business since 1908, after Robert West England (1864-1908), his older
brother, had died prematurely. The brothers therefore only worked in
partnership between 1906-1908. Their father Robert West senior and
uncle Kelynge had been in business as contractors from 1860-80. The
England Brothers (second generation, as architects) buildings currently
Edward England was elected as a fellow of the New Zealand Institute of
Architects in 1905. In 1912 he became a member of the Canterbury
Branch of NZIA. Edward England designed many opulent domestic
residences in Christchurch in the first three decades of the 20th century,
along with many commercial premises in the central city, such as the
Hallenstein’s Building, Triangle Chambers, the Beath’s Building, the
Dalgety Woolstores, and Hereford Court. Although these have survived,
usually in radically altered form, many others have been lost to inner city
redevelopment. One of the main difficulties in establishing provenance of
Edward England’s work, and that of England Brothers in general, is that
Edward’s only son appears to have destroyed or misplaced the firm’s files
when his father died in February 1949.
Edward England is a regionally significant figure in Canterbury. His
contribution to Canterbury’s architectural heritage is only now being
recognised and, arguably, Lincoln University has the ‘jewel in the crown’ of
England’s commercial designs.
Edward England often used slate tiles, tall well-lit windows with metal
mullions and surrounds, and brick construction. Other Christchurch
buildings designed by Edward England include domestic buildings on
Rolleston Avenue, The Deanery, Carlton Mill Road, and on the corner of
Springfield Road. Other buildings include the church (1911) on the main
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Palmerston North City Council
road at Dunsandel (now a craft shop); the BNZ bank (1915) in Leeston
(now a private residence) and St Andrews Presbyterian church in
Ashburton. Photocopy of plans of two commercial buildings by England
Brothers (Canterbury Museum) – lots of window space.
Edward England has designed numerous utilitarian and domestic buildings
in the Canterbury region. A number of his buildings in Christchurch city
have been demolished or altered considerably
Fielding, William, (1876–1946)472.
William Fielding was born in Lancashire, England around 1875 and began
his architectural career with a firm in Manchester. He later became a junior
partner there. In 1900 he married Lily Midgley and their daughter May was
born in 1904. About 1908 the family migrated toWellington, and they lived
in Matai Rd for many years. A son named Robert was born in 1921. Mr
Fielding was the architect for several prominent buildings in Wellington
including the Congregational Church in Cambridge Tce (1916), the
Evening Post building in Willis St (1927), as the Working Men's Club, the
Trades Hall, Lampard Flats, the Evening Post Building and the Methodisyt
Church in Waitoa Rd, Hataitai (1928). He was for a time chairman of the
Wellington branch of the New Zealand Institute of Architects, and in his
private life was a member of the Hataitai Bowling Club and the Hataitai
Municipal Electors’ Association. William was a member of the choir at the
Congregational Church, and fittingly, his funeral took place there in July
1946. Lily died in 1951 and their son Robert died at sea during a yacht
race only two weeks after his mother. May married Paul R Coloney of the
US Navy and died in Florida in 1990.
Hood, Robin (1880-1953)
Robin Hood was born in Dunedin in 1880 to Ellen and William Hood;
William being an upholsterer, wood carver and sculptor. Robin moved to
Feilding in 1908 where he spent time labouring while studying to be an
472
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
architect. By the time of his marriage to Ethel Moore in 1912 he had
established a practice in Feilding as an architect. By 1920 the Hoods
moved to Palmerston North where he continued to practice architecture,
with his offices at the Manawatu Racing Club Building at 84-94 Rangitikei
Street.
Robin Hood designed a significant number of buildings in the Manawatu,
Rangtikei, Palmerston North districts. These include:
Coronation Building, Progress Building, Broadway Chambers on
Broadway, Palmerston North;
The Strand Building, the Square Palmerston North;
The Shop and Post Office, Snells Butchers at Terrace End, Palmerston
North;
St Columbas Church at Ashurst;
Catholic Church, Dannevirke;
86, 90, 103 Fergusson Street, Feilding;
78 Pines Court, Feilding
566 Church Street, Palmerston North;
73 North Street, Palmerston North;
and many other houses in Palmerston North, Feilding, Marton and
elsewhere.
Jorgenson, Oscar
Oscar Albert Jorgensen was born on 28 April 1882, in the town of Hillerød,
North Zealand, Denmark. He arrived in Wellington on the ‘Monowai’ in
December 1902 at the age of 20, duly finding work there as a cooper with
Chalmers Cooperage. His parents and three brothers then joined him in
New Zealand in 1905, and the family lived at Newtown. He was
naturalised on 30 May 1905, aged 22, at which time he was still working in
Wellington as a cooper.
In 1907, Oscar, his brother Valdemar, and Carl George Johann, formed
the building firm of Jorgensen & Johann Ltd., and Wellington City Council
records list four houses they built.
http://www.heritagehelp.co.nz/locals.html
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North West Square Heritage Area 2010
It is believed (despite no written evidence found as at 2001) that Oscar
qualified as an architect through the Wellington Technical College.
However, by 1910 he was designing houses in Wellington. He then briefly
lived in Dannevirke. His first known tender notice to appear in the
Manawatu Evening Standard, was in February 1912, while his last was in
December 1930. However, there were three gaps in this time: the periods
February 1916 to February 1919, August 1919 to April 1923 (the
partnership Jorgensen & Jamieson operated in this timeframe), and
December 1926 to August 1928. He advertised himself as an architect
registered with the A.N.Z.I.A. from 1915, and by 1928 he was advertising
himself as a registered architect and structural engineer with the same
body.
his wife’s serious illness and their house burning down in October 1925,
while the family was away for the weekend.
The Pam Phillips Papers on architects working in Palmerston North
between 1900 and 1950 lists many houses and buildings Oscar Jorgensen
designed around Manawatu, Horowhenua and Dannevirke. These include
the Elgin Buildings on the corner of Cuba and Bourke Streets, and the
Andrews Building and Stage 2 of the Nash Building, both in George Street
– all covered in this study.
Larcomb , Ernest
Ernest Larcomb was born in Southampton, England, on 20 July 1855. He
and his four sisters were orphaned four years later, and he and the
youngest sister were then adopted by an uncle and grew up in London. He
served four years as a mechanician in London, and then a year as a
contractor’s surveyor at the erection of Holloway’s Sanitorium in Berkshire.
He was one of three who always got marked excellent at freehand
drawing, from 350 scholars, and he was also taught instrument drawing by
his uncle, Edward Ingres Bell, then Chief Draughtsman in the War Office,
Whitehall.
Others he designed included the dairy factory at Rangiotu, additions and
alterations to the Glaxo factory in Bunnythorpe, the present Manakau
Hotel (1920), the Bryant Buildings in The Square (till recently McDonalds
restaurant), and the now demolished Methodist Church in Cuba Street.
Between about 1913 and 1915, architect R. Thorrold-Jaggard (who had
just arrived in New Zealand) worked for Oscar Jorgensen’s firm. In 1917,
Jorgensen was aged 34 and married when he registered under the
Registration of Aliens Act (although, being naturalised, he did not need to
register). He stated at this time that he had been in New Zealand for 14
years, and that he was an architect of Botanical Road, Palmerston North.
In September 1919, he took on Ebenezer Hislop Jamieson as a partner,
using the name Jorgensen & Jamieson, Architects. This was dissolved in
1923, but ended up with Jamieson winning a March 1926 court case
against Jorgensen re money Jorgensen apparently owed Jamieson. By
June 1926, Jorgensen was bankrupt - something he partially attributed to
He unsuccessfully ran for seats on the Palmerston North Borough Council
in 1925 and 1927, and in 1926 he became a member of the newly-formed
Guild of Architects in Palmerston North. He moved to Lower Hutt in 1931
and by 1936 he was working for Bulleyment Fortune, Architects, of
Wellington. He also for the Government Housing Department. He
continued working until about 1949, while living in Newtown near his
siblings. Meanwhile, his marriage had ended in divorce. He died in
Wellington on 26 January 1967, aged 84.473
Larcomb came to New Zealand on the ‘Corona’ in 1874, and entered the
Public Works Department, Wellington, as a draughtsman. He worked on
the plans of all the Government railways in New Zealand and in 1876
worked on the plans of the Timaru breakwater. Other jobs included
473
File A 175/175, Research file O.A. Jorgensen, (including Manawatu Evening
Standard 10 March 1926 8(4); & Manawatu Daily Times, 6 June 1926);
‘Palmerston North Architects 1900-1950’ in Pam Phillips Papers, Vol. 4, pp. 31-35,
Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library. NZ Dept. Of Internal Affairs: Register
of Aliens 1917 (Wellington, c1918), p.487. Register of Persons Naturalised in NZ
before 1948: Non-Commonwealth. ‘Hillerød’, Denmark:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hiller%C3%B8d
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Palmerston North City Council
working on the plans of the Baker’s Hill gully dam at Karori and
supervising its construction. After 2½ years, he was loaned to the
Wellington City Corporation as a civil engineer for three years, following
which he established his own architectural and civil engineering practise in
Wellington.
He married Mary Anne Rivers in 1877 and the couple moved to
Palmerston North in 1881. Here he again established himself as an
architect and civil engineer. He also went on to serve two stints as a
Palmerston North Borough Councillor, between 1884 and 1885, and
between 1888 and 1891, as well as other community roles.
In 1934, Larcomb wrote of his life (this is largely reprinted in Nancy Smith’s
biography of him in And So We Began). He stated that he was the first to
introduce “the present mode” of lighting and ventilating shops above the
verandah roofs. Prior to the Wade’s patent skylights, he had also
“introduced a stormproof skylight consisting of one sheet of glass clipped
down to a wooden frame and projecting over all round at edge.” Other
adaptations included using steel railway rails as lintels over shop fronts,
prior to the introduction of steel or iron girders and guarding against leaky
window frames by having them housed and with tilted sills. At the first
Sawmillers’ Conference he got resolutions passed that all run and dressed
timber should first have been seasoned; that all knives for running etc.
should be sharpened to templates, and that all timber should be cut to
exact standard dimensions. Accordingly, in 1907 his regular advertisement
in the local newspapers stated that he was “designing handsome buildings
of moderate cost, which will be proof against earthquakes, fire, weather,
vermin and will last for ages.”
Larcomb designed and superintended at least six of the local churches,
including the Wesleyan, Anglican, Catholic and Presbyterian Churches. He
also designed about eighteen of the district’s hotels, including the Club,
Occidental, Empire, Albion and Royal Hotels. By 1900, about half of the
shops and business premises then in The Square had been erected under
his oversight, including the substantial United Farmers’ Co-operative
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Society, Messrs’ Ireland & Co.’, and the Law Chambers buildings. He
designed the original Union Bank of Australia, whose replacement is part
of this study, and also the first Palmerston North Hospital. Other buildings
known to have been designed by Larcomb, and which are covered in this
study, include three in Cuba Street (The Arcade/Mr Models, Pink &
Collison/Coo-ee Drycleaners and Kerslake/C 2 C Surf Shop) and the
Union Building/Studio 31 in Coleman Place. The small 1895 Kerslake
building in The Square has more than a 50% chance of also having been
one of his.
Among the many houses he designed, was William Park’s large house
then on the corner of College and Linton Streets. He also designed J.A.
Nash’s house ‘Waimarama’ in Alfred Street, which was built in 1905 and
which is still standing.
In about 1894, Larcomb successfully advocated for public rights-of-way to
be placed at the back of business premises that fronted The Square, as he
thought that the cart entrances previously alongside each of these
properties were a waste of space. Other achievements included
Palmerston North’s first water reticulation system.
He was also responsible, while chairman of the Acclimatisation Society, for
liberating the first possums near the headwaters of the Turitea reserve
(with three other local citizens), the first trout in adjacent rivers and the first
sambur and red deer in the surrounding country.
In 1908, after 26 years in Palmerston North, the Larcomb family moved to
Wellington, where Mary Anne Larcomb subsequently died at Taita on 29
July 1917. Although apparently in semi-retirement at the time, Larcomb
resumed his architectural practice in Palmerston North in September 1918,
and his last known tender notice was in June 1928. By 1930 he had retired
to live in Christchurch, where he died on 17 April 1936.474
A 175/28, Research file: Cr E. Larcomb; A 175/83, Research file: Architects (re
Larcomb); & ‘Palmerston North Architects 1900-1950’ in Pam Phillips Papers, Vol.
4, pp. 35-39, Ian Matheson City Archives, PN City Library. These include:
474
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Palmerston North City Council
Natusch, C T
Natusch founded his practice in Wellington in 1886, having completed his
architectural studies in England in 1882. He immigrated to New Zealand in
1886 after spending the intervening time in the United States, Canada and
working in town planning in England. Over the years, Natusch was based
in Wellington, Masterton, Pahiatua and finally Napier. When he was
commissioned to work on the Feilding Club, his three sons had joined the
practice and the firm had offices in Wellington, Pahiatua, Napier, Gisborne
and Palmerston North. Natusch is particularly well known for his residential
buildings, which include Bushy Park (Register Number 157), Gwavas
(Register Number 173) Matapiro (Register Number 171), Maungaraupi
(4916) and Wharerata (Register Number 1188).
Penty and Lawrence
Francis Penty was born in Yorkshire in 1841. He was educated at private
schools and studied to become an architect in York. After completing his
articles in 1862, he spent five years on the Liverpool Exchange works,
seven years in Manchester, and 15 months in Windsor. He then joined the
civil staff of the Royal Engineers, where he was engaged in constructing
new barracks, and afterwards took charge of the architectural branch of
the London and North Western Railway, retaining this position for 12
years.
Penty emigrated to Wellington, New Zealand, in 1887 on the ship
Kaikoura. By 1896 he had designed 150 private houses at a cost of
£60,000. Other buildings designed by Penty by this time included the
Convalescent home in Oriental Bay, the warehouse and livery stables of
Townsend and Paul in Victoria Street, the fruit market in Harris Street, and
George Webb’s premises in Tory Street. That same year he was building
Manawatu Evening Standard 25 April 1908 (Personal Column), 14 July 1908
(Personal Column), 7 September 1918 (advert), 3 September 1918 5(2), 29
November 1930, p. 12. Also, Nancy Smith, And So We Began (PN, 1971), pp. 5154. Much of Smith’s article is based on Larcomb’s 2-page memoir, a copy of which
to be found in A175/28. Heritage Trails: Architects Walk, Palmerston North, pp. 2-3
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
a brick warehouse for the Wellington Woollen Company on Jervois Quay
and some brick shops in Willis Street. Country houses designed by Penty
included Te Nui, the twenty-roomed home of Messrs R. and J.F. Maunsell.
Francis Penty was a member of the Wellington City Council for Cook Ward
from 1892 to 1895. He took a keen interest in sanitation, and did much to
improve drainage in the city. 475
In 1902 Francis Penty had premises at the New Zealand Insurance
Buildings, Lambton Quay and E.M. Blake at number 10 Featherston
Street, Wellington. By 1903 ‘Penty and Blake Architects’ had established
themselves at 28a Lambton Quay. They were to remain in partnership for
just six years. By January 1910 the firm Penty and Blake had evolved into
Penty and Lawrence Architects and were situated at Australasia
Chambers, Customhouse Quay, Wellington.476
In October 1908 Penty was elected vice president of the Institute of
Architects and both Penty Blake were elected delegates to the New
Zealand Institute.477
Thorrold-Jaggard, R
Reginald Thorrold-Jaggard was born and educated in England. He
received his articles there before emigrating to New Zealand in 1913. He
settled in Palmerston North and soon met and married Lily Daisy Collier
who had been recruited in London by the local firm of Collinson and
Cunningham as a dressmaker. Jaggard was initially in the employ of
Oscar Jorgeson, a well known local architect, before setting up his own
practice. In the ensuing years many local buildings and domestic
dwellings were designed by Jaggard. Among those still standing are the
Former Hepworth Building (1917), King St Flats (1925), Square Edge
(1945), Ward Brothers building (1936), Family Entertainment Centre, The
475
The Cyclopedia of New Zealand. Vol.1. – The Wellington Provincial District.
(Cyclopedia Company Ltd, Wellington, 1897): 304, 582-3.
Evening Post, 27 September 1902; 17 October 1903; 7 January 1910.
477
Directory of British Architects. Vol.1. (Continuum, London, 2001): 198; Evening
Post, 24 October 1908.
476
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Palmerston North City Council
North West Square Heritage Area 2010
Square (1935) and House, 314 Church St. The firm was carried on by his
son Bill Thorrald-Jaggard who sold the practice in 1962.
West, Ludolph Georg (1846–1919)
Ludolph Georg West was born in Denmark and arrived in New Zealand in
1868. He quickly went to the North Island and settled in Palmerston North.
He married the daughter of a Johnsonville settler called Bannister. His
first wife died in 1891 and he remarried in 1894. It was some years before
West set up in practice as an architect but, in conjunction with his son
Ernst Vilhem, he was responsible for a large number of Palmerston
North's buildings. Among those still standing designed by the practice are
the Former Club Hotel (1905), the Manawatu–Kilwinning Masonic Lodge
(1908), the Old Soldiers Club (1917), the Church of Christ. Scientist (1931)
and Ward Brothers Building (1935). George West (he Anglicised his
name) was Mayor from 1886–87, a borough Councillor and a prominent
freemason. His son Ernst was a borough Councillor 1921–25.
Page 247
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