Greymouth CBD Historic Area

Guinness St, Greymouth

  • Greymouth CBD Historic Area. Plan of Historic Area from registration report..
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Date: 3/03/1995.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Area Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7052 Date Entered 3rd March 1995

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Area comprises NZ Post Building, Courthouse, Wetherall & K. S. Jeffreys Building in Guiness Street; Revington's Building, Waitaki House, Public Trust Building in Tainui Street; Hannah's Building corner Tainui and Guiness Street, Greymouth.

City/District Council

Grey District

Region

West Coast Region

Summaryopen/close

This historic area was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Greymouth established its first Borough Council on July 16, 1868 and is now the main centre and largest city on the West Coast. Westland, including the large Maori settlement of Mawhera, had been purchased by the Government in 1865 and the town of Greymouth was laid out by pioneering surveyor John Rochfort. A large area of the land was retained as Maori Reserve. The town was named after the then Governor of New Zealand, Sir George Grey.

Population numbers grew very fast in Greymouth's early goldrush years and by the turn of the century it was a thriving coastal town with major coal, gold and timber industries. The earliest commercial sites were along the river frontage, (now known as Mawhera Quay) branching out into Tainui and Guinness Streets which, today, are the town's main thoroughfares. The first wharf was constructed in 1867 but it was not until 1885 that a sea wall was built to control the problem of severe flooding in the town.

The commercial heart of Greymouth has always been centred in the Tainui/Guinness Street area. The Post Office is located on the original site of the first hospital (nb. Guinness St was formerly known as Hospital St) and Revington's Hotel is said to be on the site of a store owned by Rueben Waite, one of the town's first settlers.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

All the buildings in this commercial area reflect the state of development attained by Greymouth by the early twentieth Century and the regional importance of the West Coast at that time. Tainui and Guinness Streets have been at the town's centre since the 1860's and still serve as a main thoroughfare.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Architectural:

These buildings illustrate a range of architectural styles popular from the turn of the century up to WWII. Of particular merit are the Post Office, the Courthouse and (probably) the Public Trust buildings designed by New Zealand's first Government Architect (1909-22), John Campbell. It is interesting to compare the Edwardian Baroque design Post Office (1903) to his later design of the Courthouse (1911) which is a considerably more restrained version of the same style.

Aesthetic:

Together, the buildings in Tainui and Guinness St area have considerable streetscape appeal being of similar age, size and scale. The three government buildings were designed by the same architect and therefore have group significance.

Greymouth's central business area with its variety of architectural styles is a significant piece of townscape reflecting the town's development. The area has particular historical significance with some of the sites dating back to the goldrush years of the 1860's.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Recommendation for Registration considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Social:

The selected buildings within this area are representative of early twentieth Century government agencies and commercial and hotel premises erected in small New Zealand towns.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Report Written By

NZHPT

Information Sources

Greymouth District Council

Greymouth District Council

Greymouth - The First 100 Years , Centennial Publication, Greymouth Borough Council (1968)

Nolan, 1976

T. Nolan, Historic Gold Trails of Nelson and Marlborough, 1976

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Southern region office.

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.

Historic Area Place Name

Commercial Building
Courthouse
Hannahs Building
New Zealand Post Building [demolished]
Public Trust Building
Revingtons Hotel
Waitaki House