Los Angeles

110 Fendalton Road, Christchurch

  • Los Angeles.
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.
  • .
    Copyright: NZ Historic Places Trust. Taken By: Melanie Lovell-Smith. Date: 1/09/2001.
  • 'American arts and crafts style bungalow in Fendalton, Christchurch'. Permission of the Alexander Turnbull Library, National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa, must be obtained before any re-use of this image. Ref no. 1/1-021835.
    Copyright: Alexander Turnbull Library. Taken By: Steffano Webb (1880?-1967). Photo taken c.1913..

List Entry Information

List Entry Status Listed List Entry Type Historic Place Category 1 Public Access Private/No Public Access
List Number 3680 Date Entered 2nd April 1985 Date of Effect 2nd April 1985


City/District Council

Christchurch City


Canterbury Region

Legal description

Pt Lot 5, DP 2120


'Los Angeles' is one of the earliest examples of a California bungalow to be built in New Zealand, and was constructed sometime between 1909 and 1913. There are two traditions associated with the house. The first is that it was brought out from California in kitset form by the owner, Captain James McDonald, who was a trader between New Zealand and the United States. The second states that McDonald imported the weatherboards and cedar shingles he needed for the house from the States. Certainly shipments of exotic timbers were arriving in New Zealand by the beginning of the twentieth century, and American cedar in particular arrived in both baulks of timber and as sawn shingles. However, drawings by the architect J.S. Guthrie from 1909 indicate that the house was designed in New Zealand, but perhaps based on plans and drawings brought over from California.

The typical features of the Californian bungalow seen here include the stone verandah post, the deep porch, the wide eaves, the horizontal lines of the building, the window hoods, the exposed rafters on the gables, and the dark exterior. Inside the house the halls, living room and breakfast room are panelled in rimu with a 'plate shelf' running around them. The ceilings feature exposed rafters.

Canterbury river stones were used for the verandah pillars, the chimneys, and the roadside fences, which are also included as part of the New Zealand Historic Places Trust/Pouhere Taonga registration. (The fence was moved and rebuilt due to road widening in 1992).

'Los Angeles' is highly significant as the earliest distinct example of a Californian bungalow in New Zealand. The advent of the bungalow is associated world wide with a more relaxed lifestyle, a growth in suburban living and ideas of 'town planning' and 'garden cities'. These changes are allied with a growth in private motor cars and public transport, making it easier for people to live away from the central city. In New Zealand the bungalow became the typical building of the suburbs and the construction of 'Los Angeles' is important as early evidence of the architectural expression of this developing trend.


Construction Professionalsopen/close

Guthrie, John Steele and Maurice James

'John Steele Guthrie (1883 - 1946) and Maurice James Guthrie (1891 - 1968) were one of Christchurch's most active architectural firms in the first half of [the twentieth] century. John, better known as 'Jack', trained in Christchurch with either J.C. Maddison or F.J. Barlow. By 1910 he was working in independent practice. In June 1919 his brother Maurice, who trained with Collins and Harman, joined the practice, although Jack remained the senior partner and designer. Their designs include 'Los Angeles' in Fendalton Road (1913), St Mary's Convent (1919), the now demolished Edmond's Factory (1920) and Christchurch Boys' High School (1926). The partnership was dissolved in 1929.'

University of Canterbury, 'Arts and Crafts Churches of Canterbury', [Christchurch], 1996, p.14

Additional informationopen/close

Construction Dates

Original Construction
1909 - 1913
Exact year uncertain.

1992 -
Fence moved due to road widening

Completion Date

9th December 2001

Report Written By

Melanie Lovell-Smith

Information Sources

Ashford, 1994

Jeremy Ashford, The Bungalow in New Zealand, Auckland, 1994

Salmond, 1986

Jeremy Salmond, Old New Zealand Houses 1800-1940, Auckland, 1986, Reed Methuen

Shaw, 1997 (2003)

Peter Shaw, A History of New Zealand Architecture, Auckland, 1997


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.