Topic: Knowlescourt, 274 Papanui Road

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Built in 1910 Knowlescourt at 274 Papanui Road was demolished after earthquake damage in 2011.

Knowlescourt, 274 Papanui Road Knowlescourt at 274 Papanui Road was a large Elizabethan Revival house designed in 1910 by J J Collins. The house was built for Thomas Russell, a city solicitor and company director. He built his house on a large site on Papanui Road, a socially desirable street address in the early 20th century. He remained at Knowlecourt until 1935. The property was then purchased by Clara Edith Dodd, a widow, who owned Knowlescourt until her death in 1952. The house was next purchased by Percy Nicholls, a Land Agent of Christchurch. Following his death in 1974 the property, which had been divided into seven flats, passed to his heirs. The Nicholls heirs owned the property until it was purchased in 1976 by Julius and Judith Ann Paal. Two other owners held the property until the current owners Summers House Trading Limited purchased it in 2004.

Knowlescourt had architectural and aesthetic significance as a Tudor/Elizabethan Revival house designed by John James Collins (1855-1933) of Armson, Collins and Harman At 274 Papanui Road Collins designed an Elizabethan Revival/Arts and Crafts house, the half-timbered Tudor style being popular among the upper-middle classes of Christchurch at this time. Collins designed a two and a half-storeyed house with a brick base and stuccoed half-timbered upper-storey. The house was picturesque in its styling in that Collins employs a variety of motifs to enliven the facades of the building including double boxed bay windows, full brick sections of the house, half-timbered and plain stucco finishes, curved and straight half-timbering, entrance porches and multi-gabled and hipped slate roofs. The effect created suggests a house that has evolved overtime, however the eclectic variety employed by Collins was constructed at one time in order to recreate the architectural variety of forms found in original Tudor buildings. The interior layout of the building, which includes a ballroom, had been altered to accommodate seven flats however many of the interior features remain in place. The interior featured high quality finishings with an Arts and Crafts appreciation of fine timbers evident throughout. The main rooms on the ground floor have oak parquet flooring with timber wall panelling and timber beamed ceilings. The main staircase is carved timber with decorative newel posts. Leadlight windows have been used throughout and brass Art Nouveau styled door handles, plates and locks embellish the doors.  

Badly damaged in the 2010/2011 earthquakes the building was demolished in 2011.

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