Southland Building and Investment Society Offices (Former) and Southland Fresh Food and Ice Company
73 And 75 Tay Street, Invercargill
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Able to Visit
24th November 1983
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Sec 29 Blk XII Town of Invercargill (CT SL8B/1) and Lot 2 DP 1122 (CT SL8B/410), Southland Land District, and the buildings known as the Southland Building and Investment Society Offices (Former) and the Southland Fresh Food and Ice Company Building (Former) thereon.
Sec 29 Blk XII Town of Invercargill (CT SL8B/1) and Lot 2 DP 1122 (CT SL8B/410), Southland Land District.
This handsome pair of Italianate buildings were built for the Southland Building and Investment Society (1896) and the Southland Fresh Food and Ice Company (1904). They have historical and architectural significance.
The land on which these two buildings stand was Section 5 Block XII on Tay Street, at the edge of Invercargill’s business district. By the 1880s there were two buildings on the section. Then owner Mr Sloan’s bankruptcy provides some information about Section 5 Block XII – noting that there were two buildings on the section, occupied by Sandilands and others, with an estimated value of £1100. A sale notice describes the buildings on Section 5 Block XII as ‘a dwelling house of six-rooms and workshop.’ The section appears to have been taken by the mortgage holder – The Southland Building and Investment Society and Bank of Deposit (Southland Building Society). In 1895, the Southland Building Society built its own premises on the east part of the section.
Southland Building and Investment Society Offices (Former)
The Southland Times reported that the building society held a competition to design their new offices, choosing William Sharp’s entry. Twelve tenders were received for the erection of the building, and that of Farrell, Wilson and Co. was accepted. The building cost £949 to build, including furniture. Sharp chose to design in a Classical-style, befitting the respectability and solidity of the institution. ‘The front will be in the pure Corinthian style of architecture, finished in cement, square pillars at the corners, with round fluted pillars between, while the base course and steps are Port Chalmers stone.’ The offices would present ‘a neat and attractive appearance externally, but will be admirably fitted inside, and will in every way suit the requirements and facilitate the transaction of the business of the directors and their officers.’ Work was underway by October 1896, and completed early in January.
The Society outgrew its premises again, and in in 1926-1927, relocated to Clyde Street, having altered the old ‘Soldiers Club’, adapting the existing building for their use. When, once again, the Society outgrew its offices, a new building was opened on Tay Street in 1938, which they remained in until the 1970s. In the twentieth century, occupants have included the New Zealand State Coal Depot, Craig Printing and JG Pro Sports Limited. In 2018, the building is occupied by Savemart.
Southland Fresh Food and Ice Co. Building (Former)
In 1905, on the west part of section 5, the Southland Fresh Food and Ice Company built their premises – a two-storey shop with factory to the rear. The company took up its new premises next to the Southland Building Society Offices in early 1905. Architect Charles Roberts designed the building, which was erected using day labour. The Southern Cross reporter recorded that the building was ‘well-planned, and will enable the company to cater for the requirements of their patrons to the best advantage. Two large windows, with tiled floors, on which, cool and appetising-looking, are displayed some of the company’s products, afford ample light and set off the handsome appointments of the shop.’ The shop fittings included glass cases (‘dust-proof and fly-proof’), as well as weighing and slicing machines. The shop stocked bacon, butter (‘reposing in dainty-pats) and ‘meat preparations in glass receptacles.’ The shop fit out was artistic as well ‘On the walls behind the counter are two examples of Mr Burrell’s photographic skill in the shape of views of the farms and herds of Mr Geo. Young (West Plains) and Mr Henderson (late Crombie, Kennington), two of the principal mil suppliers.’ In addition, the panels on the shop door were decorated with ‘two admirably executed landscape scenes in oil, the work of Mrs Hiddleston, whose handwork so took the fancy of a visitor that he wished to buy the door right away.’ To the rear of the shop the ‘artistic gives place to the severely useful – engine, pumps, vats, refrigerators, and all the other appliances needed in the rapid and satisfactory turning out of the company’s wares in marketable condition.’ To the rear were ‘carpenter’s workshop, stables, bacon-curing room, etc. The front part of the second storey housed a kitchen. The business was managed by J.F.C. Hiddleston, and dealt with milk, butter and cream, bacon, ham, poultry, rabbits, small goods ‘and all the other branches of an up-to-date providoring concern – all designed to meet health inspection guidelines.
In the twentieth century, long term occupants have included ham and bacon curers Lindsay and Company, Kings Super Meat Mart and King’s Foodland grocers, and sports retailer JG Pro Sports. In 2018, the building is occupied by Savemart.
Roberts, Charles. H
Roberts (1869-1942) trained as an architect in Dunedin before establishing a practice in Invercargill in 1895. Roberts seems to have been reasonably popular around the turn of the century designing many commercial and residential buildings. However, the Southland Times Building is one of only a small group of buildings attributed to Roberts which remain.
Yorkshire born Sharp (1847-1936) was educated in England as an engineer and surveyor before going to Japan as assistant engineer on the Imperial Government railway until 1877. After returning to England he then came to New Zealand in October 1878. He was appointed assistant engineer in the Public Works Department. Retrenched in the 1880s, he started in private practice and was part time engineer to the Invercargill Borough Council and the Bluff Harbour Board. He retired in 1914 and died in Timaru in 1936.
Farrell, Wilson and Co.
No biography is currently available for this construction professional
Southland Fresh Food and Ice Co. Building
Southland Building and Investment Society Building
29th January 2018
Report Written By
Southland Times, 8 Apr 1905, p. 5.
1869-1969 Southland Building and Investment Society’s....100th Anniversary
1869-1969 Southland Building and Investment Society’s....100th Anniversary, [Southland Building and Investment Society, Invercargill, 1969]
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 Otago/Southland Area Office of Heritage New Zealand