Friday, June 28, 2013

More views above a motorway

Continuing from this post.

Photography by Greg Kempthorne

Another email today from the State Highway 16 Causeway Upgrade Project folks, who gave permission for these images to be reproduced here. 

Up top, Rosebank Domain, oldest part of Avondale geologically. Such a shame it wasn't left as a people's park, and that the archaeology was lost.

Below, the mouth of the Whau, looking back to Rosebank Peninsula and Pt Chevalier, Waterview and Avondale. Te Atatu in the foreground.

Photography by Greg Kempthorne

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Ruins of the Castle Hill Hotel, Canterbury

A postcard featuring a set of lost ruins in New Zealand -- I couldn't resist. The card is dated 1910, which seems likely. In 1906 (see below), the ruined hotel did at least have something of a roof left. The hotel seems to have started with two business partners running a store in Canterbury.

Christchurch Press 28 October 1865

Then, in January 1866, Michael D'Arcy applied for a conditional Public House license. He got the license, which had the following conditions to it:

1. All the premises to be kept in good repair. To provide in his house, besides the tap-room, or room answering as such, one public and one private sitting-room.

2. To provide not less than seven beds for travellers, in not less than seven separate bedrooms.

3. To provide a shed sufficiently weathertight and fit for the accommodation of at least four horses.

4. At all times to keep a proper supply of water for the house, and for horses and cattle, and to provide in a convenient position a proper trough for watering cattle.

5. To keep at all times a proper supply of oats and oaten or grass hay.

6. To provide and keep in repair a good and sufficient stockyard for cattle, containing a superficial area of not less than 225 square yards. For the occupation of this yard during the night, the licensee may make a charge at rates not exceeding the following, viz.:—Twopence per head for all cattle under 50 in number, and one penny per head for all over that number.

7. To provide and keep in repair a good and sufficient moveable sheep-proof yard, containing a superficial area of not less than 500 square yards or, at the option of the licensee, to keep one acre of land enclosed by a permanent sheep-proof fence. For the occupation of this yard or paddock during the night, the licensee may make a charge at rates not exceeding the following, viz. pence per score for all sheep under 300 in number, fourpence per score for all over that number and under 500, and twopence per score for all over 500.

8. To keep a lamp burning, with two burners, from sunset to sunrise, giving a sufficiently bright light, and being so lighted as to be conspicuous from a distance all around the house.

9. To be sworn in and act as a constable, especially when required by the Magistrates or the Police.

10. On all occasions to render every assistance and to supply information to Magistrates and to the Police in the execution of their duty.

11. To keep a clean and orderly house, and to render it as comfortable for the accommodation of travellers as the circumstances of position and distance from towns will fairly allow.

12. The licence to be cancelled by order of any three Justices of the Peace, if it be proved to their satisfaction that any of the conditions of the licence are not regularly fulfilled, or if any drunkenness be proved to have been allowed on the premises, or if any spirits shall be supplied from the house or premises to any aboriginal native of New Zealand.

13. A printed or fairly written copy of these conditions, and a tariff of all charges, to be kept at all times posted up in some conspicuous place in the tap-room, and all the sitting-rooms, for the information of travellers.

14. To provide a Visitors' Book, which shall be kept in the custody of the licensee, but whenever asked for shall be produced to visitors and lodgers for the insertion of any remark on the accommodation or attendance; a notice to this effect to be kept posted in the same manner as the Tariff of Charges. The book to be open at all times to inspection by Magistrates or the Police, and to be sent to the Clerk of the Bench at Christchurch a week before the Annual Licensing Meeting, for the purpose of being produced at that meeting.

W. Kinnedy, Photo. Cloudesley's hotel, Castle Hill. (New Zealand Illustrated Magazine, 01 April 1900). Alexander Turnbull Library, Wellington, New Zealand.

In July 1869, D'Arcy transferred the license to Frederick Harris. In 1873, after falling afoul of the law re serving an intoxicated customer and the death of his wife Margaret, Harris transferred to Mauritz du Place. A few months later, du Place transferred to James G Burgess. He was followed by George Glansford in 1876.

In the 1880s, W Cloudesley took over the hotel. The stable burned down in August 1890, but the hotel continued, proving a popular stop on the West Coast Road for coach travellers. The owner had the good fortune to have a hotel on a coach road when tourism in New Zealand was starting to hit its stride.

Castle Hill Hotel, a fine, roomy structure, built with the stone of the district, is a popular resort for those who are run down in health, and want rest and quiet together with the bracing air of the mountain. 

Ashburton Guardian 23 March 1896

 Christchurch Press 7 September 1897

Then, in October 1904, the hotel burned down, when it was owned by Fletcher, Humphreys and Co of Christchurch. Although the licensee applied for a temporary license, saying that the hotel would be rebuilt, nothing happened, and the license lapsed in December that year.

The absence of the accommodation which existed at Castle Hill, on the Christchurch-West Coast road, prior to the destruction by fire of the hotel there is, according to a gentleman in this city who recently drove over the ranges, much missed. Travellers by coach have now to wait until they reach Craigieburn before they can obtain a cup of tea, and much inconvenience is experienced by cyclists and others who desire a night's lodging. At present accommodation is obtainable at a station in the vicinity, but it is stated to be inadequate at this time of the year for the number requiring it.
 Christchurch Press 10 January 1905

My comrades will readily understand my feelings when I spied the outline of an old hotel looming out of the dense fog. This I afterwards discovered was the ruins of an old halfway house called the Castle Hill Hotel. Now, most folk are not given to praying while on a journey, but somehow or other I was prompted with a feeling of dire gratitude towards Providence for condescending to allow part of this old ruin to remain intact. I dived through the vacancy in the mud wall caused by the recent collapse of the chimney, leaving my boneshaker and personal effects outside to weather the storm as best- they might. I soon gleaned from the aspect of this new-found domicile that it afforded ample means and space for a night's lodgings so I decided to drop anchor until such time as the elements should find it convenient to be a bit more favourable.

Well, I set to to light a fire, finding that the chaos of old newspapers which was lying about formed a very effective means of doing so. Unloosing the bundle from my bike, I extracted from its assorted contents my infallible and indispensable tin billy. Filling and refilling this with snow, I soon got it full by melting it, so that after a space of a few minutes I was comfortably seated on the mud floor enjoying a meal which I did not dare to name, for the simple reason that I could not exactly determine what time it was, as my clock (the sun) had long since disappeared behind the sullen mass of snowclouds ... I lay back on my blankets, and presently a glorious feeling of drowsiness stole over me. For a while I was conscious of a sense of drifting through interminable space, then all was vacuum, silence, emptiness. The next thing I remembered was a cold, splashing sort of sensation on my forehead, and on coming back to full sense of the situation I perceived that this was due to a puncture in the roof, through which the melting snow gained access owing to the reappearance of the sun over the hilltop. I again boiled the billy with some of the remaining papers, after which I regenerated the source of my physical energy by eating such a hearty breakfast that I was half afraid the cavity by which I entered the hut would not be large enough to let me out again.

Otago Witness, 25 April & 2 May 1906

In the old coaching days the halfway house between Springfield and Arthur's Pass was the Castle Hill Hotel. A desolate heap of white ruins, crouching at the feet of a squad of pine trees is all that remains of the one-time busy hostel. Many a fortune-hunter must have stopped here for refreshment, and many a motley train of pilgrims the inn must have witnessed, all scurrying towards their El Dorado, by waggon, horseback or on foot.

After 1936 -- the ruins appear to have disappeared.

Update 28 June 2013:
This just in from fellow blogger/researcher Writer of the Purple Sage:

"Thought you'd be interested in this piece (and photo) detailing another proprietor of said hotel, one Colin Campbell McLachlan, who took over the hotel in 1902. I wonder if perhaps he was a manager installed by the owners Fletcher, Humphreys and Co of Christchurch. If so, he was almost certainly in place at the time of the 1904 fire.

"This site also has some interesting background on another of the hotel's owners, W J Cloudesley (did you know he also owned a coal mine in the area?) ... "

Watercolour from a war

A postcard purchased a few days ago -- produced by the University of Otago from an original watercolour held by the Hocken Library: Edward Arthur Williams' (1824-1898) Manukau Harbour from Onehunga, 1864. At the time he did this, he was a Lt.-Colonel in the British forces sent here to quell the Maori uprising in the Waikato, serving with the Royal Artillery. The view is likely overlooking the lower Normans Hill area to the right. Just out of the scan range to the left, the beginnings of Onehunga's wharf area, and the future Gloucester Park.

According to Una Platts in her book Nineteenth Century New Zealand Artists
Ensign in the army 1842, colonel when he arrived in New Zealand. Took part in Waikato and Taranaki campaigns. His marvellous collection of drawings and watercolours of the campaigns came in a roundabout way to the Hocken. He sent letters and sketches of this period (1864–65) home to his mother and eldest sister. The collection was sent by his son Brigadier General E. G. Williams CMG to Mrs Forster in New Zealand in December 1931; from her they went to her sister Gertrude Good, Ramanui, Hawera; she sent them to T. K. Skinner, New Plymouth, and thus they came to his son Professor Skinner, the ethnologist, who gave them to Hocken.
According to a Family Search page, Edward Arthur Williams was born in Woolwich, Kent, 17 February 1824. He entered the British Army in 1842, was awarded Companion Order of the Bath in 1866, achieved the rank of Colonel in 1867, Major General in 1880, honorary rank of Lt-General in 1885, Colonel Commandant of the Royal Artillery in 1890. He died at Eastcombe House, Blackheath, 20 June 1898, with an estate valued at £10,197.

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Three Lamps, Karangahape Road, Lower Queen Street and the wharves on postcards

Three Lamps, junction of Ponsonby, College Hill and Jervois Roads. 

One way of dating this undated card: the advertisement for the Tole Estate. Ads in the newspapers for this sale, fronting Ponsonby Road, date from 1907. The 1902 memorial to Trooper Stanley Rees Scott can be seen.

A place to meet and chat, in the middle of the road. Wouldn't want to try that now ...

The 1903 Ponsonby Club Hotel, which was replaced during the 20th century by the Gluepot.

Karangahape Road. The card is postmarked 1905, and also has philatelic interest in that the sender used only a 1/2d stamp, and the card had to have a 1d stamp added in under payment penalty.

Note the white dog ...

... who I think is keenly interested in the black dog strolling in behind the tram on the left. I liked this card because of the chap on horseback riding along what is now one of Auckland's busiest thoroughfares.

Lower Queen Street, outside the Central Post Office. No date, but as the post office is complete, sometime after 1912.

R & W Hellaby had their butcher's shop here. A pleasant day to catch a lift on the back of a lorry cart.

Changing the pole alignment for the tram's return trip, possibly to Grey Lynn.

Looking up Queen Street, and more trams heading for the Custom Street focus. A very pedestrian friendly environment, but it still paid to watch for you stepped out.

Postcard date stamped 1908.

Loading lumber ...

In another 10 to 15 years, these horses, wagons and carts would all be replaced by motorised trucks. The city would cease to reek of their droppings, but we'd have other pollution to worry about.

Two cards from the Auckland Exhibition 1913-1914

Difficult to buy postcards from the Auckland Exhibition, because there are folks out there who pump up to prices to crazy levels -- up to $100 plus in some cases. I've managed to get a couple at saner rates in my time, though.

The exhibition opened 1 December 1913, and ran during the last summer before World War I. The toy railway here was billed as a miniature scenic railway, a "tiny engine and three carriages" (only two seen here), which did a tour of "Domain Hill". Might have traveled where the Auckland War Memorial Museum is today.

Can't say anyone looks all that excited with the thoughts of the trip ahead.

I've seen a few of these kind of cards around where families had their photos taken, and then inserted in the view as if they were flying over Auckland and the exhibition grounds. I actually found this one at a stall in Blockhouse Bay.

Friday, June 21, 2013

Early Pukekohe

King Street, Pukekohe. Avondale probably looked a little like this back then. As with Pukekohe, Avondale was a rural service centre for its district as well as West Auckland.

What attracted me to this postcard off TradeMe, though, was the woman and the two youngsters, laughing and skipping (?) along the footpath. Was this something put on for the photographer, or did he just catch a candid shot?

Manukau Library on their Footprints website dated this image as c.1911. But, Charles Randall Lusher, Watchmaker & Jeweller, left Manaia for Pukekohe in May 1912, after being in business there for 17 years. (Hawera & Normanby Star, 3 May 1912) He was green superintendent of the Pukekohe Bowling Club by October 1913, and was on the council of the local Chamber of Commerce by August 1916. Early 1924, he was selling Edison phonographs, both cylinder and disc types. His parents were Randall and Georgina Lusher, who arrived the the country c.1862 (Georgina died April 1926). He died 18 March 1938, at his King Street, Pukekohe residence.

My postcard may well have dated from the pre-WWI period, but it was postally used around 1970, with a 3 cent Lichen Moth stamp on it -- and sent to Pukekohe. Perhaps someone found it elsewhere, and decided it looked great to send.

The still lamented Victoria Arcade

We had a beautiful building on Queen Street once, called the Victoria Arcade (1885). I wish in my first fifteen years of life, I'd been aware of it enough to have looked up and seen it for myself. But, sadly, I didn't.

It was designed in 1883 by architect Alfred Smith, built in 1884 by Allan McGuire, for the New Zealand Insurance Company. Smith started his Auckland career with Charles Le Neve Arnold in 1882.
An opportunity has been afforded us of inspecting some very fine architectural and other drawings executed by Messrs Smith and Arnold, architects. Amongst the more important works we noticed a beautifully finished perspective, in sepia, of the sanatorium, erected for the well-known Mr Holloway of London, and a very fine set of drawings of the Army and Navy Club in Pall Mall, of which Mr. Smith was the architect and for the successful arrangement and completion of which he made a Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects. Failing health -- the result of too close application to his work -- has compelled Mr Smith to try the milder climate of New Zealand. Mr Arnold, his partner, was formerly in the office of Mr. Norton of London and Florence, architect for the Yarmouth and Newcastle Aquaria, and he was subsequently pupil and draughtsman to Mr Lawson, of Dunedin, whom he assisted in many important works. We understand that Messrs Smith and Arnold intend to practice their profession in our city. 

NZ Herald 2 February 1882

Early in 1883, the New Zealand Insurance Company obtained a lease for city endowment property between Queen Street and what was then the post office and custom house sites, in the block between Shortland and Fort Streets. The company offered a prize of £250, open to architects "in all the colonies." 45 plans were received, including five from Melbourne. The proposal for a tower for the building seems to have been common to many of the plans the company received. Smith's design won out, resembling the Charlemont Hotel at the foot of Wakefield Street (also gone)

The principal entrance is at the corner of Shortland and Queen Streets to a vestibule 20 feet in width, leading to a grand staircase, and the elevator, behind which is a sloped to the basement. On the Queen-street side of entrance on ground floor is a single shop, and on the Shortland-street side a double shop. On the Queen-street frontage to Fort street corner (where there is a double shop) there are six shops, inclusive of Fort-street corner. There are on the Shortland-street frontage, next to the Post Office, two shops. Then an arcade running through to Fort-street, the frontage to which on either side is occupied by a series of shops, The space above is an open court used for a lighting area. There is also a small court for lighting purposes to shops on eastern side of arcade. The Fort-street frontage, east and west of the arcade, is also devoted to a series of business premises. The basement is so arranged that the cellars are lighted and ventilated; both from the street and arcade. The elevator, which runs up to the gallery of the tower, communicates with the basement, as also with a staircase at the opposite corner, provision being also made for a hydraulic lift. Round the shaft of the elevator is a handsome staircase to every floor. The first floor contains 23 offices, and the second and third 22 each. The roof being high pitched will afford an excellent range of room, suitable for artists or photo, graphers, or any occupation requiring special lighting. 

NZ Herald 8 August 1883

Detail from drawing of east side of Queen Street. Ref 4-337, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Library.

On 30 August, the partnership of Smith and Arnold dissolved. Charles Le Neve Arnold went on to become relatively prominent in Auckland's architectural history, becoming a preferred architect to John Logan Campbell. Arnold joined the Auckland Institute of Architects in 1885. His association with John Logan Campbell, president at the time of the building of the Auckland Golf Club’s clubhouse at One Tree Hill, seems to have begun by the early 1890s, when both were on the committee deciding upon plans for extensions to the Auckland Art Gallery for the Mackelvie collection in 1891, and he also did design work later for Campbell & Ehrenfried. In 1893, Arnold designed and superintended the building of the St Mary’s Parish Hall beside the Anglican church of the same name in Parnell, and was on the sub-committee for Building & Lighting for the 1898 Auckland Industrial and Mining Exhibition. He is credited with the design for Huia Lodge in Cornwall Park, with producing a design for Admiralty House in 1900, Auckland Chamber of Commerce in 1903, and in partnership with R Atkinson Abbott won first prize in a competition for a design for the Auckland Grammar School (1913), the Dilworth Ulster Institute School of Agriculture in Papatoetoe (1916), Memorial Chapel at King’s College (1922) and shops for George Kent & Sons in Newmarket (1922).

Smith, practicing alone,  met with trouble.
There is considerable dissatisfaction among the local competing architects at the decision arrived at. A premium of £250 was offered by the company for the best design for a block of buildings, four storeys high and the cost of which was not to exceed £25,000, whereas the premium has been awarded to a design, which from the practical test of tendering will cost, with foundations, £40,000. They hold that having complied with the conditions, by keeping their designs within the limits assigned, £25,000, they are now unjustly treated by the present decision. It must be said for the company, on the other hand, that several alterations have been made in the accepted design, involving an increase of cost to the extent of several thousand pounds. Among other change there is an extra bay in Queen-street; a projection to the Queen-street facade; enlargement of the grand staircase large strong-rooms bath-rooms; caretaker's rooms on fourth floor, fittings, etc. 

NZ Herald 23 February 1884

Things didn't go too well for Smith right from the start. By March 1885, he withdrew as architect to the insurance company.

As you have alluded to my withdrawal from the post of architect to the New Zealand Insurance Building, and as the public are already spreading reports not very flattering to myself, I shall be much obliged by your allowing the following facts to appear in. an early issue, as some of your readers may feel interested. The present contract for erecting the New Zealand Insurance Company's block of buildings in Queen, Shortland, and Fort Streets, for which my plan was chosen in competition with forty-seven other architects, took effect in March last year, and according to the terms of said contract the building was, and ought to be, completed by the end of August in this year. All the detail and full-size drawings have been supplied a long time, and it is very creditable to Mr George Boyd, of the Newton Pottery Works, who has been entrusted with the ornamental brick and terra-cotta work, that this portion of the work has all been prepared, and is ready for fixing, even to the terminals of the gables. The building itself, however, has been advancing by very slow degrees from the first, and, notwithstanding my unceasing remonstrances to the contractor of want of proper tackle and force to carry out such a building, month after month has gone by with no improvement, until I got quite wearied, worried, and sick. Knowing that I could not possibly do more than I had done, and that there was nothing else left for me to do than to see that my drawings were properly carried out, and having found that Mr Roberts, who I recommended from the first as clerk of works, was a capable man, and I could trust him to have the work carried out properly, I asked the directors to allow me to withdraw, and they have kindly allowed me to do so. In all other conditions of contract with builders that I have seen power is given to the employers, in case of want of diligence on the part of the contractor, to hire men themselves, and deduct their wages from my monies due to the contractor. Here no power is given at all, and the tenor of the conditions is not at all calculated to induce a contractor to do his duty. They want revision badly, and I trust, for the sake of those who build, this will be done. I am, etc, Alfred Smith. Auckland, 22nd March, 1885. 

NZ Herald 24 March 1885

In April, Smith transferred his practice to R Mackay Fripp. The building was still unfinished.The tower was only just being completed in October 1885. As for Smith -- he fades back into history at that point.

The Victoria Arcade soon after completion. Ref 4-259, Sir George Grey Special Collections,
 Auckland Library

The NZ Herald reporter's words, back in 1884, regarding the Victoria Arcade's attraction to those in the arts proved prophetic. This, from Art New Zealand, No. 134, Winter 2010:

What was realised by few, perhaps, is that Victoria Arcade-quite apart from any aesthetic merits it may have as a piece of Victorian architecture - was a very tangible link with a whole past era of art in Auckland: a period stretching from the mid-eighteen-eighties through to the early decades of the new century. A roll-call of painters who had studios at the Arcade would include the names of Frank and Walter Wright, Robert Atkinson, Charles Blomfield, E. W. Payton, Kennett Watkins, Louis John Steele and G. C. Goldie, And a bird of more exotic plumage, Girolarno Pieri Nerli, seems to have made a stay there, albeit a brief one. The list reads like a litany of the most notable artists of the period. While there were other buildings with artists' studios (Palmerston Buildings, for instance) there was not one that had so long an association with art in Auckland. In addition, Victoria Arcade, from the mid-thirties, was to house the Auckland Society of Arts itself, after the ill-considered, and later much regretted, sale of its own building in Kitchener Street.
Decorations outside George Fowlds' store, Victoria Arcade, for the visit of the Duke & Duchess of Cornwall, 1901. Ref 236-7558, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Library.

It was demolished in 1978 by the Bank of New Zealand for a corporate headquarters which I visited in 2001 while preparing Heart of the Whau. This in turn has been replaced by the Deloitte Centre, which has also replaced the Jean Batten Building, in 2010. Thus, we lose gems of our heritage in this city.

Thursday, June 20, 2013

A view to Upper Queen Street

Another card repatriated from America, looking up Queen Street from outside what was then, and still is, Smith & Caughey's. I'd date the card as being 1905-1906 period.

Tonson Garlick & Co, furnishing company, having a "Gigantic Cash Furniture Sale". Here was I thinking only modern stores advertise "gigantic sales".

This part of the image offers clues as to a date for the photo. The Governor Grey statue is in place in the middle of Queen Street, near the intersection with Greys Street (now Greys Avenue), but it predated the Town Hall (see below). This image seems to predate the Town Hall as well -- I think I can see the plantation trees through the verandah posts on the right, instead of the Town Hall's iconic structure.

Also, there's no sign of the terraced shops going up the left side of Queen Street towards Karangahape Road. Those date from 1908, according to NZ Historic Places Trust.

Auckland Weekly News, 25 January 1906, AWNS-19060125-13-1, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Library

This was what drew my attention to the card: the American Dental Parlors (1905-1933), first on the site of what is now the Civic Theatre, then from c.1925 just opposite the Town Hall. W R Parkinson was a grocer immediately underneath the dental parlor, who put his shop up for lease in October 1906 -- so this limits the age of the image to being from August 1905, when the dentist opened up, to late 1906.

NZ Herald 14 September 1905

Frederick John Rayner (1875-1931) set up the Dental Parlors, although he was a Canadian educated in Chicago. He settled in Auckland in 1900, bought one of the first motor cars in the city, and was the first president of the Auckland Automobile Association. His American Dental Parlours offered the Auckland public a fully electrically-generated system of dental treatment and waiting room comforts, possibly among the first dental surgeries to be operated by electricity in the country. He was able to achieve this by having his own generator on the premises. By 1910, he advertised that 1000 patients were treated at his offices each month. Rayner built Auckland’s first cabaret, the Dixieland Dance Hall, and established the Hippodrome Picture Company which ultimately became the Amalgamated Theatre chain.

View of the American Dental Parlors, March 1925 (Winkelmann), 1-W314, Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Library.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Murals in Beresford Square

Around the former Beresford Square underground men's loo, art has bloomed.

These first two mural were photographed in February this year.

Today, I spotted more.

Auckland needs more pleasant surprises like these.