Kerridge House

75 The Esplanade, Gisborne

  • Kerridge House.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Martin Jones. Date: 2/04/2003.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Martin Jones. Date: 2/04/2003.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Martin Jones. Date: 2/04/2003.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 4421 Date Entered 15th February 1990


City/District Council

Gisborne District


Gisborne Region

Legal description

Lot 2 Pt 4 DP 3148



Kerridge House was built for Sir Robert Kerridge (1901- 1979), the cinema chain magnate whose name is still associated with the company he founded. Kerridge bought his first cinema in Gisborne in 1924 at the age of 23. With H.B. Williams, a wealthy local landowner, as his partner, Kerridge established a profitable and expanding business. Five years after Kerridge started his business the company owned 16 country cinemas in the east coast regions of the North Island.

After the Second World War Kerridge purchased his Fuller's chain of cinemas and then J.C. Williamson's New Zealand's interests to control 66% of New Zealand's movie houses. Kerridge was knighted for his services to the entertainment industry.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

Sir Robert Kerridge was one of New Zealand's best known entrepreneur. As the leading figure in the movie entertainment business in New Zealand he had a very high profile. The chain of cinemas he established largely survives today and reflects the very great influence this innovative businessman held in the industry. This modern contemporary house was built when Kerridge was still a relatively young businessman.


This is an outstanding example of an Art Deco house. The consistency of design and use of materials is most noteworthy. This is one of the best Art Deco designs in New Zealand in a style which was rapidly reaching its heyday in the 1930s and was closely associated with the east coast regions of the North Island.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Burr & Mirfield

J H Burr became an Associate of the New Zealand Institute of Architects in 1905. Mirfield began his career as a clerk of works before entering into partnership with Burr in 1912.

Burr and Mirfield were responsible for many buildings in the Gisborne district including the Masonic Hotel (with Rene Natusch), the New Zealand Insurance Building, the Kaiti Memorial Church (with Clere and Williams, 1925), the Public Trust Office and some large residences in Gisborne.

Buildings designed by the Gisborne architectural practice of Burr and Mirfield - other than the Rangatira Hotel - include the New Zealand Insurance Building (1915), 50 Childers Road, Gisborne (NZHPT Registration # 3553, Category II historic place); the Public Trust Building (1922), 40 Childers Road, Gisborne (NZHPT Registration # 3552, Category II historic place); a house (1925) at 233 Harris Street, Gisborne (NZHPT Registration # 3512, Category II historic place); the Kerridge House (1935), 75 The Esplanade, Gisborne (NZHPT Registration # 4421, Category I historic place); and the M. Zemba Ltd Building (1937), 63 Peel Street, Gisborne (NZHPT Registration # 3542, Category II historic place).

Additional informationopen/close

Physical Description


The house is Art Deco in style. The front elevation has generous steps leading up to an entrance porch. Chromium plated steel railings define the steps and porch. There is a carport to the right of the house - an integral part of the design.

The roof has parapets. Some of the windows have patterned and textured glass while the sliding garage doors have diamond paved lights on the upper third. There is a small courtyard at the rear of the house.

The interior is richly finished in redwood throughout. The ceilings are panelled with Art Deco patterns except for the hall and main bedroom. The bathroom with its polygonal plan, is enhanced by the use of superior fittings and materials. Sliding doors with patterned glass separate the lounge, dining room and hall. The two fireplaces have terrazzo surrounds.


1987 - Free standing fireplace installed in hall

1988 - Lounge and den window glazing changed to plain glass

Notable Features

Art Deco glazing and fittings

Maid-bell system (unoperational)

Push-button light switches

Polygonal bathroom

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1935 -

1987 -
Free standing fireplace installed in hall

1988 -
Lounge and den window glazing changed to plain glass

Construction Details

Foundations, concrete piles. Timber framing. Walls have exterior-diagonal slats, with stucco finish. Corrugated iron roof with parapets.

Information Sources

Gisborne District Council

Gisborne District Council

Gisborne City Council - Building Application Form, Floor plan, Architect's Specifications

Shaw, 1990

P. Shaw and P. Hallet, Art Deco Napier: Styles of the Thirties, Cosmos Publications, Napier, 1990

University of Auckland

University of Auckland

Shepperd Collection School of Architecture Library, Auckland, B49

Other Information

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1980. This report includes the text from the original Building Classification Committee report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

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.