Prestons Building (Former)
95 Revell Street, Hokitika
List Entry Information
List Entry Status
List Entry Type
Historic Place Category 2
Private/No Public Access
21st September 1989
Extent of List Entry
Extent includes the land described as Lots 3‐4 DP B (CT WS2D/238), Westland Land District), Westland Land District and the building known as Prestons Building (Former) thereon.
West Coast Region
Lots 3‐4 DP B (CT WS2D/238), Westland Land District
Prestons Building (Former), a concrete commercial building in Hokitika’s central business district, was constructed in 1923 for the well-known Hokitika drapery business of Samuel James Preston. It is thought to have been the first reinforced concrete building constructed in Hokitika.
S J Preston established a drapery business in Revell Street in circa 1905. The Preston family also operated a bakery and restaurant (‘tearooms’), initially in Hokitika’s Gibson Quay and later to premises in Revell Street (adjacent to the present Revells building). The drapery business advertised itself as the foremost Ladies’ Drapers Shop for fashion and style and imported millinery, ready to wear hats, curtains, embroidery and fabric as well as blankets. In July 1912 S J Preston purchased the narrow land parcel stretching between Revell Street and Beach Road Reserve from hairdresser William Hall. It appears that Preston continued to operate from premises further down Revell Street for several years until the early 1920s. Tenders were called for the building at 95 Revell Street in 1922 and S J Preston’s new premises were constructed in 1923, in place of three smaller buildings previously on the site.
The building is sited on the western side of Revell Street, with its long southern elevation fronting the north side of Weld Lane. Constructed of reinforced concrete, the building is single-storeyed and has a long rectangular plan, with a gabled roof running east-west and covered with corrugated iron. The east elevation is the main street façade and comprises a glazed ground floor with entrance to the shop, above which projects a plain verandah and a pediment containing in large letters the name ‘PRESTONS’. The southern elevation contains six top hung casement windows, and the west elevation a further three such windows - these provide light to the large open timber-lined interior.
S J Preston was a well-respected community member. He involved his son, Jack, in the business and transferred ownership to him in 1965. When the building as sold to Dellaca Limited in 1980, S J Preston’s had been in business in 75 years. The building now operates as the Postie clothing store.
31st March 2015
Report Written By
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 Southern Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand