Topic: Canterbury Club, 129 Cambridge Terrace

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The Canterbury Club on the corner of Worcester Boulevard and Cambridge Terrace was built in 1873-1874.

The Canterbury Club was established in 1872 as a social club for men who were engaged in mercantile practice, in contrast to the Christchurch Club which had been formed in 1856 for the landholders of Canterbury. After its formation, the club purchased from Dr. Turnbull a section of land situated on Worcester Street. In that same month, W.B. Armson was appointed as the architect. However, due to ill health, he could not meet the requirements of the club, and on 6 March 1873, Frederick Strouts took over the role.The tender of builder, Daniel Reese, was accepted on 20 May.

The building was designed in the Italianate style, with the main entrance situated on Cambridge Terrace, facing the banks of the Avon River. According to the original plans, the club building initially consisted of a dining room, a strangers’ room, a smoking room, a billiard room, domestic offices, a kitchen, a butler’s serving room, a servant’s hall, bedrooms, and a bathroom. In addition to the main club building, a caretaker's flat was also constructed but in a less elaborate style.

Construction of the building took place from 1873-1874. On 23 October 1874 a member’s dinner was held to celebrate the opening of the club.

Around 1900 another bay was added to the west end of the building. In 1907-08, the architectural firm Armson, Collins and Harman were responsible for the construction of additional men’s rooms, a bedroom on the ground floor, a storage building and a bathroom.

Further alterations were made to the interior of the building throughout the twentieth century. In 2005 the property was subdivided and a section which had housed the squash courts was sold.

Wilkie and Bruce Architects made alterations to the building in 2006, linking the caretaker’s flat to the main club building.

Damaged during the Canterbury earthquakes, the chimneys were removed and replaced with replicas. As part of the earthquake repairs, the floors were relevelled and the walls relined.                                

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