Corner Shop

Talbot Street And Kennedy Street, Geraldine

  • Corner Shop. Image courtesy of www.flickr.com.
    Copyright: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Taken By: PhilBee NZ - Phil Braithwaite. Date: 12/08/2012.
  • Corner Shop. Original image submitted at time of registration.
    Copyright: NZHPT Field Record Form Collection.

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 2 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 9946 Date Entered 5th December 2008

Locationopen/close

Extent of List Entry

Extent includes part of the land described as Lot 4 DP 33 (CT CB228/67), Canterbury Land District and the building known as the Corner Shop thereon, and its fittings and fixtures. (Refer to map in Appendix 1 of the registration report for further information).

City/District Council

Timaru District

Region

Canterbury Region

Legal description

Lot 4 DP 33 (CT CB228/67), Canterbury Land District

Location description

The shop is the corner part of the property at 192 Talbot Street, Geraldine.

Summaryopen/close

The Corner Shop (Former) at 192 Talbot Street, Geraldine is a representative example of an Edwardian corner store closely associated with the adjacent residential cottage. Built in the first decade of the 20th century by William Bryant as a corner shop for the sale of bakery goods, the building and adjacent cottage was sold in 1906 to Thomas Elliott, who then ran his drapery and tailors business from the shop. Elliott died in 1919 but the house and cottage remained in the ownership of the Elliott family until c1993. The property was sold at that time to Gary and Donna Cook and it has since functioned as a Barber shop.

The Corner Shop is a single storey weatherboard building with a hipped roof of corrugated iron. It is distinctive in appearance, having a pronounced set back corner and associated hip in the roof at its south-eastern entry point and a rather broad verandah. There are two large glass windows either side of the corner doorway. The door is timber and panelled, has a fan light above it and moulded architraves. The verandah runs around the street façade and has timber posts. The verandah covers the footpath and the posts are at the outer edge of the footpath near the kerb.

Corner shops have been a characteristic building type in both towns and cities and remain so especially for dairies. However, while very common in the past, corner stores are at risk as many dairies close down with the increase in opening hours by supermarkets. The Corner Shop at Geraldine is noteworthy as it continues to function as a business - currently a Barber Shop - and has never been converted for residential use. Ferrymead Heritage Park used photographs and measurements of this corner shop in Geraldine as the basis for building a reconstruction/old style corner shop (or shops) within their heritage village in Christchurch. Together with the adjacent, older, cottage, the buildings together represent characteristic aspects of small business in Edwardian provincial New Zealand. These include its small-scale family owned and operated nature, and the closely related domestic and commercial space.

Assessment criteriaopen/close

Historical Significance or Value

The Corner Shop has historical value for its association with the development of the township of Geraldine, reflecting aspects of daily life in the town including small-scale commercial activity. It demonstrates the importance of local corner shops within urban communities when shopping formed a substantial part of neighbourhood interaction.

The place is representative of designs of corner shops of this period, with large windows near the entrance to the shop, with little or no fenestration on the other elevations. The broad verandah, covering the footpath, is a detail that is not reflected elsewhere in this part of town.

Together with the adjacent, older, cottage, the buildings together represent characteristic aspects of small business in Edwardian provincial New Zealand. These include its small-scale family owned and operated nature, and the closely related domestic and commercial space.

Social Significance or Value:

Corner shops are a feature typical of numerous countries and, as with New Zealand, they have been important in the life a community perhaps more so than they do now. Local corner shops were a hub of neighbourhood activity, where conversation was exchanged and at times news was distributed. Just as when the Corner Shop (Former) in Geraldine functioned as a place for bakery sales and subsequently as a drapery and tailors shop, it continues its social commercial nature now as an old style Barber's shop.

The building also has social significance as a reflection of the once close association of work and home. This close association was a by-product of limited transport options.

(a) The extent to which the place reflects important or representative aspects of New Zealand history:

Small corner shops were once a feature in just about every New Zealand town. They served local clientele along the lines of a convenience shop, where people would call in to buy a few items and have them 'put on the account' as well as chat with the shop keeper.

Corner shops have been a characteristic building type in both towns and cities and remain so especially for dairies. However, while very common in the past, corner stores are at risk as many dairies are beginning to close down with the increase in opening hours by supermarkets. The Corner Shop at Geraldine is noteworthy as it continues to function as a business - currently a Barber Shop - and, although it did not operate as a business for some time from 1920, has never been converted for residential use.

(k) The extent to which the place forms part of a wider historical and cultural complex or historical and cultural landscape:

The Corner Shop is part of a broader historical landscape in the lower Talbot Street area. Immediately to the north, at 192 Talbot Street, is the cottage which is closely associated with the shop and which is separately registered as a Category II historic place (Registration No. 2025). At 137 Talbot Street on the opposite side of the street from the shop and cottage and slightly closer to town is a brick cottage which is registered as a Category II historic place (Registration No. 2023).

Summary of Significance or Values:

This place was assessed against, and found it to qualify under the following criteria: (a, k).

Conclusion:

It is considered that this place qualifies as a Category II historic place.

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Additional informationopen/close

Historical Narrative

Small corner shops were once a feature in just about every New Zealand town. They served local clientele along the lines of a convenience shop, where people would call in to buy a few items and have them 'put on the account' as well as chat with the shop keeper. Typically, many small shops and commercial premises had an attached or adjacent dwelling.

To the north of the Corner Shop is a small cottage at 192 Talbot Street (record number 2025), which had been built in c1873. In 1901, the cottage including the corner site was purchased by William Bryant who added the Corner Shop to the south of the cottage. The shop was for the sale of his bakery goods. In 1906 Bryant sold the property containing both cottage and shop to Thomas Elliott. Elliott ran a drapers and tailors business from the shop until he died in 1919. His widow, Jeannie Robb Elliott took title to the property in 1919 under his will but closed the shop in 1920. Mrs Elliott died in the 1970s, aged 100 years, whereupon her daughter Jeannie Elizabeth Elliott continued to live for many years.

The shop is closely associated with the adjacent cottage (record number 2025) which was and remains under the same legal title. While the cottage was built around c1873, the associated corner shop was not constructed until the first decade of the 20th century, c1901.

Unlike nearby South Canterbury towns of Timaru, Waimate and Temuka, Geraldine has never had a main street lined with solid two or even three-storeyed brick buildings. Although there are some solid grand buildings, these are somewhat spread out, and many of the buildings within the central township are single storey. The Corner Shop is not located right in the main part of town, but is about a kilometre to the south, more on the outskirts of the main commercial area.

Corner shops have been a characteristic building type in both towns and cities and remain so especially for dairies. However, while very common in the past, corner stores are at risk as many dairies close down with the increase in opening hours by supermarkets. The Corner Shop at Geraldine is noteworthy as it continues to function as a business - currently a Barber Shop - and has never been converted for residential use. Ferrymead Heritage Park used photographs and measurements of this corner shop in Geraldine as the basis for building a reconstruction/old style corner shop (or shops) within their heritage village in Christchurch.

A certificate of title (CT228/67) for the place was issued in 1906 in the name of Thomas Elliot [sic] of Geraldine, Draper. His widow, Jeannie Robb Elliott [sic] took title to the property in 1919 under his will. In 1978 their daughter, Miss Jeannie Elizabeth Elliott, took title under her mother's will. Miss Elliot, who had lived in the cottage from 1906, held strong views about the need to retain both the cottage and the Corner Shop for posterity. However, the Corner Shop was unutilised for some years. In 1993 the property was sold to Gary and Donna Cook who undertook repair and maintenance work on the shop. The shop has functioned as a Barber shop since that time.

Physical Description

The Corner Shop on the north-west corner of Talbot Street and Kennedy Street occupies a corner site at the southern end of the Geraldine township, slightly outside the commercial area of town. It is located on flat land adjacent to the older cottage at 192 Talbot Street, to its north. The site contains various pieces of vegetation, mostly in grass but also including a mature tree behind the Corner Shop and a small palm tree immediately to the north of the Corner Shop.

The Corner Shop occupies the south-east corner of a much larger piece of irregularly shaped lot of land that is bounded on its south and east sides by a roadway. The building fronts directly onto the footpath of Talbot Street.

The Corner shop is a single storey weatherboard building with a hipped roof of corrugated iron. There are two large glass windows either side of the corner doorway. The door is timber and panelled, has a fan light above it and moulded architraves. The verandah runs around the street façade and has timber posts. The verandah covers the footpath and the posts are at the outer edge of the footpath near the kerb. There is no fenestration on the north elevation.

The building is distinctive in appearance, having a pronounced set back corner and associated hip in the roof at its south-eastern entry point and a rather broad verandah.

Comparative Analysis:

There are relatively few corner shops on the NZHPT Register. The Shop (Former) at 9 Grafton Road, Auckland (Register No. 667) is an earlier building c1870 which was later converted into a corner shop. A set of shops at 26-28 Ross Place in Lawrence (Register No 5212) were probably built in the later part of the 19th century but do not appear to be 'corner shops' as such. The Corner Shop at Geraldine was originally used by the owner for the sale of bakery goods. The NZHPT Register has several registrations for bakeries that include the shop where the goods were sold (for example Collins' Bakery Complex (former) Kaikoura No 1456; which includes a house, shop and flour store, is of a similar age (c1905) to the Corner Shop in Geraldine). Nelson's Bakery and Old Bakehouse in Inglewood (Register No 871) and a Bakery in Ngaruawahia (Register No 4248) were purpose-built in c1923 and 1928 respectively. .

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1901 - 1907
Corner Shop constructed

Construction Details

Timber, corrugated iron, glass

Completion Date

24th July 2008

Report Written By

Robyn Burgess

Information Sources

Johnson, 1996 (2)

David Johnson, Timaru and South Canterbury: A Pictorial History, Canterbury University Press, Christchurch, 1996.

O'Connor, 1979

Shirley O'Connor, Sketches of South Canterbury, Homecrafts Tekapo, 1979.

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.