Jan 15, 2009

1858 Canterbury Provincial Government Building


The first part of the Canterbury Provincial Government building, on the eastern side of Durham Street between Armagh and Gloucester Streets, was built by 30 year-old Frederick Jenkins, a builder of Ferry Road.  The foundation stone was laid on the 6th of January, 1858 and the  total cost was £5,757, inclusive of Benjamin Mountfort's architect's fees and Aaron Whincop's interior decoration expenses.

In May of the following year a second contract was let for the addition of a tower to the street frontage, an extension to the southern wing with a pair of dormer windows in the roof of the new section and a council chamber to the east. 

Below: 1859 photograph of the rear of the building by Dr. Alfred Charles Barker (1819-1873) taken from the balcony of his house at the corner of Worcester Street and Oxford Terrace.

Later in 1859, using the traditional cruck frame method of construction, Jenkins added the first Provincial Council chamber to the back of the building (below).

Credits: 1859 photographs; Dr. A. C. Barker Collection, Canterbury Museum.

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