Commercial Building

Guinness Street And Albert Street, Greymouth

  • Commercial Building, Hokitika. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection. Taken By: Pam Wilson. Date: 12/09/1992.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 5059 Date Entered 21st September 1989


Extent of List Entry

Extent includes the land described as Sec 77, Blk 10 Greymouth or Mawhera 31 Māori Reserve and defined on Sheet 2 DP 8 (CT WS3B/140, 684119), Westland Land District and the building known as Commercial Building thereon.

City/District Council

Grey District


West Coast Region

Legal description

Sec 77, Blk 10 Greymouth or Mawhera 31 Māori Reserve and defined on Sheet 2 DP 8 (CT WS3B/140, 684119), Westland Land District


The Commercial Building constructed around the second decade of the twentieth century, adjacent to the Court House on Guinness Street in Greymouth, is significant for its historical use as legal offices and for its contribution to the streetscape in the centre of the town.

Situated on Māori Freehold Land, the Commercial Building is part of the Greymouth CBD historic area (List No. 7052) and may incorporate an earlier building that was situated on this site on the corner of Guinness and Albert Streets. General images of Greymouth in 1909 and 1910 show a structure on this corner site that appears residential and most likely constructed of timber. By circa 1910 William Joseph Joyce, Barrister & Solicitor, occupied this site and his brick office building was built here some time after this. Most likely, it was constructed soon after a new Court House (List No. 5016) was built in 1912 on the land parcel immediately to the east of the corner site.

The Commercial Building is a single storeyed office building, constructed of brick with a corrugated steel hipped roof. It is rectangular in plan and its main (south) façade, fronting Guinness Street, has two entrances and six sash windows. On the west façade, fronting Albert Street, are three sash windows. The east façade has three sash windows surmounted by a plain brick parapet. The main decorative feature of the Commercial Building is its polychromy, with contrasting red bricks and three cream coloured bands of painted brick or stone. The adjacent Court House has a much more elaborate façade fronting Guinness Street but its rear has a plainer elevation of brick that bears some similarity to the elevations of the Commercial Building.

William (Bill or Billy) Joyce was a prominent West Coast lawyer. He worked as an amiable and well-respected solicitor and barrister in Greymouth until his unexpected death as a result of post-operation complications at the age of 60 in 1931. The Commercial Building continued to be used as law offices. Wises list the firm of Joyce & Taylor in 1940 operating in Guinness Street, and from circa the 1980s, the law firm of Carruthers, Wetherall has operated from the building since.


Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
Building constructed (possibly incorporating an earlier building on this site)

Completion Date

13th May 2015

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

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.

A fully referenced upgrade report is available on request from the Southern Regional Office of Heritage New Zealand