Office Building

181 High Street And Tuam Street, Christchurch

  • Office Building.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Robyn Burgess. Date: 15/09/2010.
  • Office Building. Original image submitted at time of registration. Feb 1993.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: M Emberson.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed - Review Initiated List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 1909 Date Entered 26th November 1981


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Lot 4 DP 17526 (CT CB638/9), Canterbury Land District, and the building known as Office Building thereon, and its fittings and fixtures. [The Office Building suffered damage in the Canterbury earthquakes and all but the fa├žade was demolished in 2015.]

City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 4 DP 17526 (CT CB638/9), Canterbury Land District


This Edwardian building was erected as an addition to the earlier A.J. White Store and was designed by the England Brothers. The England Brothers were one of the foremost architectural practices in Christchurch during the early twentieth century, and designed, among other buildings, Holly Lea (or McLean's Mansion) and the Bishop's House.

In connection with the adjacent building, this store forms a noteworthy part of the cityscape and provides a continuous link to the history of furniture retailing in Christchurch.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

England, Robert William & Edward Herbert

Robert William England (1863-1908) was born at Lyttelton, the son of a timber merchant. Educated in Christchurch, he chose to go to England for his architectural training and began practicing as an architect in Christchurch around the age of twenty-three. In 1906 he took his younger brother Edward (1875 - c.1953) into practice with him.

Among the notable residential designs the England Brothers were responsible for are McLean's Mansion, (1899 - 1902), and the third stage of Riccarton House (1900). Robert was more concerned with the final effect achieved than stylistic fidelity and drew on a variety of styles including the English Arts and Crafts movement. Some of their more well-known public works include the former D.I.C building in Cashel Street (1908), the A.J White building on the corner of Tuam and High Streets (c.1904-1910) and the Kaiapoi Woollen Mills building in Manchester Street (now demolished). They were also involved in designing a number of churches around Christchurch, including Knox Church in Bealey Avenue and St Albans Methodist Church.

The firm continued after Robert's death in 1908 until 1941, although it is generally considered Edward was a more conservative architect than his brother and the firm's most notable commissions occurred before Robert's death.

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1910 -

Completion Date

20th August 2001

Report Written By

Melanie Lovell-Smith

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.