Ward Brothers Building

213 Cuba Street, Palmerston North

  • Ward Brothers Building.
    Copyright: Heritage New Zealand.
  • Ward Brothers Building. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 11/09/2013.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 7360 Date Entered 13th December 1996

Locationopen/close

City/District Council

Palmerston North City

Region

Horizons (Manawatu-Wanganui) Region

Legal description

Lot 2 DP 53140

Assessment criteriaopen/close

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

Architectural:

The Ward Brothers' Building is one of the few true examples of the Art Deco style in Palmerston North, and features many of the typical elements of the style. It was built in 1935.

This historic place was registered under the Historic Places Act 1993. The following text is from the original Historic Place Assessment Under Section 23 Criteria report considered by the NZHPT Board at the time of registration.

(g) The technical accomplishment or value, or design of the place:

DATE: 1935

ARCHITECT: Ernst West (L.G. West and Son)

The senior partner in this firm was the father Ludolph West (1846-1919) who was born in Denmark and settled in New Zealand in 1868. His son, Ernst West (1885-1961), was born in Palmerston North and was a prominent and well-respected local architect according to his obituary. He designed many well-known local buildings, including the Manawatu Standard building, and the Manawatu-Oroua Electric Power Board Buildings. and the original hangers at the Milson Airport. He was also the architect to the Waitara and Longburn freezing works.

STYLE CODE: 39 Inter War Art Deco, 1931-1940

DESIGN: Inter War Art Deco

According to the Palmerston North City Council CBD heritage inventory, prepared by Ian Bowman, the Ward Brothers Building is one of the few true examples of the Art Deco style in Palmerston North. It was built in 1935.

The upper Cuba Street facade has many of the typical elements of the style. The stepped parapet, stylised low relief ornament, stylised lettering, and the zigzag and chevron motifs are features of Art Deco architecture. The geometrical motifs have also been incorporated into the upper bay window, and the skylight over part of the first floor. Even the small brackets under the rainwater heads are stepped, and match

the low relief decoration above the two small side windows.

Despite the modifications to the ground floor shop frontage, the building is a well handled essay in applied Art Deco. The upper facade reads as a distinctive, well modelled statement in what was, for its time, a vogue style. This building is clearly an important element in its local townscape.

The shop frontage downstairs has been modified. The original, recessed bevelled glass, steel-framed doors and shop windows have been removed. The present lower windows are framed in timber and are flush with the street. The main doors are now timber framed and the cladding is some kind of vertical boarding. These new elements are not in sympathy with the original Art Deco style, but they do not greatly distract from the integrity and crisp design of the upper building.

INTERIOR:

Ian Bowman describes the interior as "largely authentic". Four interior photographs accompany the nomination but these mainly illustrate the use of Art Deco motifs in the windows and skylight, particularly the "sunburst" motif which is a distinctive feature of the style. The glass skylight above the first floor appears a particularly handsome example, in excellent condition.

The Ward Brothers Building, a small scale and well-modelled commercial building, extends the register in a positive way by representing a prominent 1930's style of architecture and a particular type of building use. The remodelling of the lower shop front also represents very typical practice; the integrity of the upper facade more than matches the losses below. A Category II registration is recommended.

Linksopen/close

Construction Professionalsopen/close

West, Ernst

No biography is currently available for this construction professional

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1935 -

Other Information

A copy of the original report is available from the NZHPT Central 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.