Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Shell service station, Pitt Street

Early morning, about 7.30 am last Saturday, I was on my way from Karangahape Road down to the InterCity bus terminal on Hobson Street. Wheelie case rattling along behind me, I spotted the above.

This used to be a service station. A Shell one, to be precise. 16-24 Pitt Street, a good place to duck in and buy a soft drink on my way from appointments further up the street as I head down to the Queen Street valley.

It did look like this:

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But now, it looks like this:

A workman  there, shifting orange barriers around so we pedestrians could make our way along the footpath, told me it was destined to become another liquor store. (Sigh) Sorry to sound liked a wowser, but I really do thin we have enough liquor stores around, ta very much. Still ... a drive-in service station like this, at a busy intersection, probably had its days numbered anyway.

The present building probably dates from the 1960s/1970s. Before thatr, a Victorian/Edwardian block of shops was here, best seen at the Auckland City Library's Heritage Images Online pages, reference 4-2000. Wises Directories tell us a grocer and a Chinese laundry were on the site in 1905. By 1930, the block of four shops included a service station, J S Dickson & Sons, at the same corner as this one, so about 80 years or so of association with petrol and motor vehicles has come to an end.

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