Shands Emporium

88 Hereford Street, Christchurch

  • Shands Emporium.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Registered List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1
List Number 307 Date Entered 2nd April 1985

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 47548 (CT CB27B/111), Canterbury Land District

Summaryopen/close

Shand's Emporium was erected around 1860, on land owned by John Shand (?-1874). Shand arrived in Canterbury in 1850 and took up 100 acres of land in Riccarton, and four town sections in Hereford Street. He became a successful farmer and businessman who was heavily involved in thoroughbred breeding and racing, as well as local politics.

In 1859 Shand had leased his town sections to William Sefton Moorhouse, then Superintendent of Canterbury Province. Moorhouse in turn leased part of one of these sections to Harry Bell Johnstone, a solicitor, in August 1860. As part of the lease agreement, Johnstone was to erect a house. However, it appears that he erected Shand's Emporium, an office building, instead. Johnstone's partner, William Wynn-Williams, leased the remainder of the section in November 1860. At the time of the lease agreement between Moorhouse and Wynn-Williams, the plan of the land shows an office building on the part leased by Johnstone. This seems to confirm that Shand's Emporium was erected sometime during 1860.

A simple, utilitarian two-storeyed timber building, rectangular in plan, Shand's Emporium was originally divided into five offices, two downstairs and three upstairs. The gable roof was covered with Tasmanian shingles, later replaced by corrugated iron. Although modified over the years to accommodate its various tenants the building's layout remains essentially unchanged. In 1977 it was refurbished to house a variety of small shops.

In the late 1970s the New Zealand Post Office proposed to build a new telephone exchange in Hereford Street, a proposal that would have seen Shand's demolished. However, many people signed a petition requesting that the building be protected, and in 1981 the government designation over the land was lifted.

Shand's Emporium is significant as one of the oldest commercial buildings in central Christchurch and one of the few to survive from the early period of Pakeha colonisation. Unlike other timber buildings of that era, Shand's was never replaced by a more substantial stone or brick building. Now dwarfed by its neighbours, it remains as a rare example of early commercial timber architecture in Christchurch.

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Additional informationopen/close

Completion Date

30th August 2001

Report Written By

Melanie Lovell-Smith

Architectural Heritage of Christchurch

Architectural Heritage of Christchurch

2: Shand's Emporium, Christchurch, 1982