Topic: Canterbury Hall

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Built in 1900, and located at 192-194 Manchester Street, Christchurch.

Built in 1900, the hall, also known as Agricultural and Industrial Hall, was owned by the Canterbury Hall Company, a group that included the Canterbury A & P Association and the Canterbury Industrial Association.

Construction of the Agricultural and Industrial Hall (later the City Municipal Chambers) in Manchester Street. Christchurch City Libraries. CCL PhotoCD 14 IMG0068.

It was designed by William Albert Paxton Clarkson and Robert Anderson Ballantyne - architects trading as Clarkson & Ballantyne, and built by contractors Rennie and Pearce. Clarkson and Ballantyne's design had been selected from a a group of competitive designs which the Cantrerbury Hall Company had sought in July 1899. On 9 January 1900 the contract with Rennie and Pearce was signed and the building work started on 22 January. The previous building on the site had been 'The Pines", the residence of the late Dr. Prins.

The foundation stone was laid by the Mayor, Mr W. Reece, on the 19 March, and by 26 October the building was complete. Over 200 men had worked on the building, and over a million bricks were used in its construction. The bases, window sills, and mullions were constructed from Mount Somers stone, while the stone on the front elevations had come from the Totara Tree and Mineries quarries at Oamaru.

"The buildings occupy the block long owned by Dr. Prins, between Manchester, Gloucester, and Worcester Streets. The entertainment hall, with seating accommodation for over 2000 persons, is the finest of its kind in New Zealand. The building, without the land, cost about £20,000, and its handsome facade of brick and stone, though fronting on a narrow street, is justly regarded as one of the architectural glories of the city." (Cyclopedia of NZ)

In November 1900 the Canterbury Jubilee Exhibition, was the first event held in the Hall.

In 1906 it was divided into three halls - the main hall became His Majesty’s Theatre, the ground floor hall became Alexandra Hall, and the top floor hall was named Victoria Hall. After the 1906 International Exhibtion the City’s Organ was also transferred to Canterbury Hall.

Canterbury Hall was gutted by fire on 11 November 1917, which left only the Manchester Street façade standing.

In 1920, the Christchurch City Council bought and refurbished the remaining part of the building to build their new municipal offices, known as The Civic.


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Canterbury Hall

Materials:Brick, Oamaru Stone
Name:Canterbury Hall
Suburb :Central City