181 Nile Street East, Maitai, Nelson

  • House, Nelson.
    Copyright: John Warren. Taken By: John Warren. Date: 16/07/2010.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1578 Date Entered 25th November 1982


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 1 DP 4865 (CT NL1A/897), Nelson Land District and the building known as House thereon.

City/District Council

Nelson City


Nelson Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 4865 (CT NL1A/897), Nelson Land District


The house at 181 Nile Street East, Nelson, has architectural importance as a characteristic modest New Zealand bungalow. This circa 1928 brick and stucco house also has local historic significance because of the property’s longstanding connection with the region’s beer industry and, in particular, Louis Adams (1874?–1937).

Understandably, Nelson’s centre featured greater density housing from an earlier period than the east end of Nile Street, towards the Maitai Valley, which remained semi-rural until the early twentieth century. Beer production was a focus in Nelson from early on because its climate was perfect for growing hops. In 1864 James Richard Hooper, of one of Nelson’s earliest beer brewing families, acquired the house’s land parcel. By 1879 he had reportedly constructed a residence and malt-house there. Malting the barley required for beer production continued at the property into the twentieth century under the ownership of Louis Adams, who was a maltster. Adams seemingly retired in the late 1920s and the bungalow at 181 Nile Street East’s construction possibly coincided with this. The malt-house next door was still operated by Harley and Sons when the Adams’ property was subdivided in 1953. The house was sold by Louis’ relatives in 1962.

There appears to have been little or no alteration to the house’s many typical bungalow exterior features, including an arched front corner verandah incorporated into the main gable’s low pitched roofline, stucco-free brick highlights on details such as window sills and porch piers to create contrast and visual interest, round and hooded bay and casement windows, and eave brackets. The bungalow is thought to date from the 1920s. It appears to be the same design as 82 Halifax Street East, thought to have been built by its owner Arthur Stratford, a bricklayer. It is probable these related buildings were close contemporaries, and could date to 1927 and 1928 as suggested by their land parcels being transferred from the deeds to title systems at those times. In the early twenty-first century a small rear addition was built, in the gap between the Nile Street East house and an existing outbuilding, to expand the kitchen space and separate it from the dining area. Doors were also inserted allowing access between the dining room and backyard.

There was an early twentieth century building boom in Nelson, spurred by growing commercial and manufacturing sectors, which meant fringe areas changed from being semi-rural in character to residential neighbourhoods. The House at 181 Nile Street East and its wider streetscape are reminiscent of this and important within the spectrum of twentieth century housing in this area of Nelson. The Halifax and Nile Streets East houses are good local examples of single level modest bungalows.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Arthur Stratford

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1928 -

2006 -
Rear kitchen additions and installation of exterior access to the dining room.

Completion Date

31st October 2016

Report Written By

Karen Astwood

Information Sources

Ashford, 1994

Jeremy Ashford, The Bungalow in New Zealand, Auckland, 1994

Salmond, 2005

Salmond, Jeremy, Old New Zealand Houses, 1800–1940, Reed, Auckland, 2005.

Wilson, 2011

Wilson, John, ‘Thematic historic overview of Nelson City’, Nelson City Council, Oct 2011,

Other Information

Please note that entry on the New Zealand Heritage List/Rarangi Korero identifies only the heritage values of the property concerned, and should not be construed as advice on the state of the property, or as a comment of its soundness or safety, including in regard to earthquake risk, safety in the event of fire, or insanitary conditions.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Central Region Office of Heritage New Zealand.