Dalgety’s Building, Cathedral Square 1928

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Dalgety's Building, Cathedral Square, 1928. Source: The New Zealand Traveller, Christmas Number 1928. Image: Christchurch City Libraries CCL PhotoCD 10, IMG0008

The streets are quiet – a parked car sits outside Dalgety’s, a lone tram rumbles towards the tram sheds and a tired delivery horse stands with his head bowed, eating chaff from his feeding bag. Two women walk arm and arm past the Cathedral. Shadows gather as the sun drops to the west.  It is 1928 and Christchurch is heading into the Depression Years.

The classical Dalgety’s Building, built in 1889, stands on the corner of Cathedral Square, Christchurch. This was an L-shaped wooden building, with each of the two wings having five windows on both the ground and first floors. At the time, Dalgety’s had twelve Australasian branch offices making it the largest wool house in the world.

In the far corner, is the United Service Hotel which had been built 1884-1885. A fifth storey was added a year later, in 1929.

The Dalgety’s Building was demolished in 1970 and the United Services twenty years later in January, 1990.

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