Christchurch Boys' High School (Main Block)

71 Straven Road And 39 Kahu Road, Fendalton, Christchurch

  • Christchurch Boys’ High School (Main Block). CC Licence 2.0 Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.
    Copyright: Schwede66 - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Schwede66. Date: 15/07/2012.
  • Christchurch Boys’ High School (Main Block).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.
  • Christchurch Boys’ High School (Main Block).
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.
  • Christchurch Boys' High School (Main Block). CC Licence 2.0 Image courtesy of commons.wikimedia.org.
    Copyright: Schwede66 - Wikimedia Commons. Taken By: Schwede66. Date: 15/07/2012.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3658 Date Entered 2nd April 1985

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 1 DP 76122 (CT CB43D/114), Canterbury Land District, and the building known as Christchurch Boys’ High School (Main Block) thereon. The extent is limited to the Main Block as identified in the map tabled at the Rarangi Korero Committee meeting on 1 December 2016, and does not include other buildings on the school site.

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 1 DP 76122 (CT CB43D/114), Canterbury Land District

Summaryopen/close

The main block of Christchurch Boys' High School was designed by J. S. and M. J. Guthrie and completed in 1926. The Guthrie brothers designed many residences in Christchurch, as well as the well-known Edmonds Factory building (now demolished). The school itself had begun in 1881 in a two-storey stone building on the former Canterbury College site, which is now the Christchurch Arts Centre. As the size of the school grew, the original building became too cramped and land in Riccarton was purchased for a new school.

The new school building had a central administration section flanked on both sides by a wing of classrooms. It incorporated contemporary principles for school buildings, yet also made architectural references to the earlier building the school had occupied when it was established. Ideas about the benefits of open-air schooling were prevalent at the time and some of these were incorporated into this building - including large windows facing north, and open corridors on the south side. (These corridors were enclosed at a later stage.) On the other hand reference was made to the school's history by the incorporation of two columns taken from the original building within the entrance porch of the new.

The Main Block continues to be used as part of Christchurch Boys' High School, although under threat from demolition for many years as it was thought to be an earthquake risk. The building is significant as part of Christchurch's architectural heritage and as part of the school's history.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

Guthrie, John Steele and Maurice James

'John Steele Guthrie (1883 - 1946) and Maurice James Guthrie (1891 - 1968) were one of Christchurch's most active architectural firms in the first half of [the twentieth] century. John, better known as 'Jack', trained in Christchurch with either J.C. Maddison or F.J. Barlow. By 1910 he was working in independent practice. In June 1919 his brother Maurice, who trained with Collins and Harman, joined the practice, although Jack remained the senior partner and designer. Their designs include 'Los Angeles' in Fendalton Road (1913), St Mary's Convent (1919), the now demolished Edmond's Factory (1920) and Christchurch Boys' High School (1926). The partnership was dissolved in 1929.'

University of Canterbury, 'Arts and Crafts Churches of Canterbury', [Christchurch], 1996, p.14

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1923 - 1926

Completion Date

23rd 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.