Park Terrace Historic Area

Park Terrace, Christchurch

  • Park Terrace 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 7058 Date Entered 3rd March 1995

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Extent of List Entry

The area comprises the Park Terrace houses from Bealey Avenue to Peterborough Street. [Some of the buildings in the Park Terrace Historic Area have been demolished following the Canterbury earthquakes. In 2011 Weston House was demolished and in 2012-13 Rosary House, Fleming House and McKellar House were demolished. In 2015 the Bishopspark Main Building was demolished but its chapel remains].

City/District Council

Christchurch City

Region

Canterbury Region

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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.

Rolleston Ave/Park Terrace has acted as the western boundary of the city ever since Christchurch was laid out by E. Jollie in 1849. The Town Sections, at the Park Terrace end, were a quarter acre each with their long axis at right angles to the street allowing for five sections in each block.

A Lyttelton Times reporter describes the area (Antigua St, future Park Terrace)

2 March, 1866:

"We pass over an incline of about four feet, which runs obliquely across the street and we find it covered with tussocks and flax bushes. The ground is firm but very uneven and two sections of it are cut off from the main area by gullies, through which the River Avon flows when the water is high. The width of the street as far as Armagh St is irregular, the western boundary being the river whose course it follows. There are several excellent dwelling houses on the east...south...the ground becomes more level, the flax has been left behind and the tussocks fewer and smaller. Opposite Peterborough St...road has continued to improve and may now be said to be easily passable by vehicles and there is a good footpath. At Armagh St a footbridge crosses the river and a neat palisade is erected along the margin of the river for the protection of unwary passengers travelling westward. The road here is metalled and exhibits signs of much traffic..."

Settlement began in the area in the late 1850's with the first Bishopscourt being built in 1858. The area then, as it is today, was built up largely of wealthy real estate owned by the city's more prominent citizens. The Rolleston Ave end (up to Salisbury St) was predominantly used by the university and its dependent institutions but with the relocation of the institution to Ilam in the 1970's, a change of use was required for many of the surviving buildings. The former university site has since become the Christchurch Arts Centre and thrives in its new capacity. Together with the Canterbury Museum, Christ's College, Cathedral Grammar and other institutions, the area has retained its educational/cultural/ community focus. The stretch of Park Terrace between Peterborough St and Bealey Ave is mostly residential. Since the 1920's there was a lot of rebuilding in this area, mainly on subdivided sections.

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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.

Settlement began in the Rolleston Ave/Park Terrace area in the 1850's. The Rolleston Ave end is particularly significant in terms of educational and cultural activities. From the beginning Park Terrace has been a wealthy residential area, home for many of the city's pioneers and prominent citizens. Bishopscourt (the first built in 1858) and the development of Hagley Park and the river are of historical importance.

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:

The domestic work of some of Christchurch's leading architectural practices are represented in the collection of houses that line Park Terrace. The architects include England Bros., Collins & Harman, Helmore & Cotterill, Samuel Hurst Seager, Cecil Wood, Francis Willis, Paul Pascoe and Warren & Mahoney. Except for the eight storey apartment building built in the 1970's, all the houses are of similar size and scale and cover a wide range of twentieth century architectural styles.

Aesthetic:

Park Terrace is dominated by the presence of two of Christchurch's main features - the Avon River and Hagley Park (with many historic plants and trees). These natural features and superior real estate combine to make the area a very desirable part of the central city with great aesthetic appeal.

Park Terrace is an inner city residential area bounded by the Avon River and Hagley Park. This natural setting and the architectural quality of the housing combine to give great aesthetic appeal. The area also has considerable historic links to Christchurch's pioneer years.

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:

Park Terrace has been an expensive residential area since its first settlement in the 1850's. From the turn of the century many of the early houses were demolished and properties subdivided with the area becoming more densely populated. The university's move to Ilam in the 1970's had a dramatic effect on the immediate surroundings.

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Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Report Written By

NZHPT

Information Sources

Andersen, 1972

Johannes C Andersen. Old Christchurch, Caper Press 1972.

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

Bishopspark Main Building and Chapel
Dorset Towers
Flats
Fleming House, Wesley Lodge Eventide Home
House
House
House (B. Whitcombe)
House/Flats
McKellar House, Wesley Lodge Eventide Home
Rosary House
The Terraces
Weston House