Topic: Cokers Hotel, 52 Manchester Street

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Coker's Hotel had historical and social significance as it has operated continuously as a hotel in the city since 1879.

Cokers Hotel - 52 Manchester Street Coker's Hotel was built in 1879 for John Coker.

Coker built a commercial classical building on land positioned between the former railway station and Cathedral Square. The hotel prospered and by 1903 was considered one of the finest and most up-to-date hotels in New Zealand.. The changing patterns of transport into the city, including the closure of the main railway station and the increasing predominance of air travel, saw the decline in prominence of the south side of the inner city. The hotel survived however, making the transition from one of the city's finest hotels to the popular backpacker’s accommodation it provided till demolition. 

Coker's Hotel has architectural and aesthetic significance. The original building on the corner of Manchester and Southwark Streets was built in 1879 in a commercial classical style. Although stripped of the more decorative elements of its classical detailing the building retains its classical style. The two storeyed hotel has segmental arched windows on the ground floor with arched windows on the upper floor. The central bay has a Palladian window on the first floor above the main entrance. The solid parapet remained although the central triangular pediment had been removed. The commercial classical style was a popular style for hotels throughout the city. Additions were made to the rear of the building with the purchase of two further section on Southwark Street in 1890.

The two storey and three storey additional buildings continued the restrained classical style of the Southwark Street facade although on a smaller scale. The building had undergone several major renovation and extension projects since it was built, including the addition of 25 bedrooms, several sitting rooms and a new public bar in 1900 by F J Barlow, architect, and a major bar extension at the rear of the building in 1957 by Trengrove, Trengrove and Marshall, architects. The 1937 extension of the building along Manchester Street, in the classical style of the building, was designed by W H Trengrove, the founder of the Trengrove architectural practice in 1922 that continues to this day as Trengrove and Blunt Architects Ltd. The interior has been altered several times in the history of the building but has retained its integrity through its consistency of use.

Badly damaged in September and December 2010 events, notice was issued under Section 124 of the Building Act as a dangerous building, and the hotel was later demolished.


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